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. Why did Bakhtin feel his times were comparable to those of the Renaissance?

2. What was the most prevalent medium of the culture of the common folk in the Renaissance?

3. What does Bakhtin argue is the role of dialogue?

4. Bakhtin associates Friar John's beating of the men with:

5. What are the "Catchpoles" of which Rabelais writes?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe two episodes of beatings or injury are specifically centered around the theme of feasting.

4. What does the prologue of _Pantagruel_ parody?

5. How does the marketplace become an indicator of folk culture in general?

6. How does Bakhtin interpret the prologue of _Pantagruel_?

7. What role do oaths and profanities fill in Rabelais' novel?

8. How does Rabelais describe the human body in the context of grotesque realism?

9. What was Rabelais' relationship with the fairs based upon?

10. What do Bakhtin's examples of Rabelais' tales of extraordinary urination have in common?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore Bakhtin's study of language in Rabelais. What is "vernacular" or "colloquial" language? How is it different from "official" languages, like that of the Church or of the monarchy? How is verbal communication different from written communication, and who or what does each type of communication serve? How does Rabelais keep his language lively and never dull? How does Rabelais transform names, nicknames, proper nouns, and all other forms of speech?

Essay Topic 2

Describe how Rabelais uses Friar John as a representative of the Catholic Church. How does he describe Friar John? What situations does Rabelais put Friar John into, and how does the Friar behave? What might these situations and characterization say about the Church? How do official and unofficial modes of speech and communication work with Friar John? Does he represent the carnivalesque, the grotesque, or popular festivity in anything he says or does?

Essay Topic 3

What is a "blazon"? How are blazons part of the carnivalesque and grotesque traditions of folk humor? What sorts of people or things were turned into blazons, and why? How is the theme of duality related to the blazon? How does Rabelais employ blazons in his novel?

(see the answer keys)

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