Rabelais and His World Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How are abusive and praiseful words reflective of grotesque realism?

2. How did Rabelais obtain the material for his writings?

3. During Bakhtin's time, what genre was being closely defined by the Soviet government?

4. Bakhtin considers "thrashing" ambivalent, rather than strictly negative, because:

5. What does Bakhtin find inadequate in Veselovsky's metaphor of Rabelais as a village boy?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the effect of the suspension of social hierarchies during Carnival?

2. Why does the speaker of the prologue of the Third Book invite only good men to drink?

3. What does tripe represent, in Bakhtin's analysis?

4. What was Bakhtin's relationship with the Russian Union of Writers?

5. How is degradation expressed, in terms of Rabelais' grotesque realism?

6. How are being drenched in urine or covered in excrement treated in Rabelais' novel?

7. Describe the Renaissance student writings.

8. What was the "feast of fools," and why was it a particularly festive laughter in the Middle Ages?

9. What is Bakhtin's general idea about the purpose of art?

10. What about the episode of the Lord of Basche is carnivalesque?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does Rabelais use myth in his work? What types of myth does he draw from (classical, popular, spiritual, etc.)? How are allusions to mythology a part of carnivalesque culture? Cite at least three specific examples of identifiable myths which Rabelais alludes to, alters, parodies, travesties, or repeats.

Essay Topic 2

What roles do games play in Rabelais' novel and in the Renaissance? Discuss how games and gaming fulfill an "unofficial" social role as opposed to an "official" one. What images, traditions, and symbols does Bakhtin associate them with? How are games representative of folk culture? How did games and gaming change after the Renaissance?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the relationship between praise and abuse. Use examples of this theme from what Bakhtin identifies as billingsgate and marketplace language and from popular-festive forms in Chapters 2 and 3. How were praise and abuse part of the tradition of "unofficial" language, and specifically how did they oppose "official" language? Are there elements of the grotesque in praise and abuse?

(see the answer keys)

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