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. What in particular forms the basic elements of Rabelais' novel _Gargantua_?

2. Why did Renaissance humanists attempt to suppress oaths and profanities?

3. What does Bakhtin consider the most indispensable element of folk culture?

4. When did the Russian Revolution occur?

5. According to Bakhtin, what is the function of art?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is important about the figure of the physician in Rabelais' novel?

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

4. Why do modern readers find it difficult to read Rabelais' novel?

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

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

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

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

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

10. Why does Bakhtin state that in Rabelais' novel everyday kitchen implements and foods have an intrinsic value?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the Medieval and Renaissance views of the world, including the individual, social, and cosmic aspects of the world. What spurred the change from the Medieval to the Renaissance way of thinking? How is this change, and the social, political, and religious controversies or struggles that accompanied it, evident in Rabelais' novel?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the "querelle des femmes" and Rabelais' perspective on it. How does Rabelais' novel portray women and femininity? Is Bakhtin's explanation of Rabelais' perspective on the querelle des femmes problematic in any way? Feel free to address this issue using terms of modern feminist theory.

(see the answer keys)

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