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. Rabelais expresses the debasement of suffering and fear by associating them with:

2. Which answer best describes "grotesque realism"?

3. The core images of the prologue of _Gargantua_ are:

4. How did the French Romanticists respond to Rabelais' works?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What are the "cris de Paris," or "street cries"?

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

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

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

9. What is the underlying nature of all of Rabelais' images?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Choose three main characters from Rabelais' novel and explain the meanings of their names (for example, Gargantua, Pantagruel, Panurge, King Anarchus, Friar John, Lord Basche, etc.) Discuss any connotations their names may have, any allusions to people, places, historical events, or mythology, and what their names represent in the context of carnivalesque folk culture.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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