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 were "street cries"?

2. Why, according to Bakhtin, is Rabelais' parody of the Church not considered heresy?

3. Carnival allowed:

4. Comic rituals in Medieval and Renaissance Europe were:

5. How does Bakhtin define the novel?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the Renaissance student writings.

3. How does Bakhtin get around the prohibition of certain kinds of satire and irony in his own time?

4. What does Rabelais parody with the character of Janotus de Bragmardo?

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 Friar John.

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

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

10. How is Bakhtin's book "double-voiced," as Michael Holquist asserts it is?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Examine the structure, the presence, and the purpose of the Foreword and the Prologue. What do they offer to the reader? What is the purpose of a foreword or a prologue--what is the function of writing an introduction to someone else's book? Can, or do, such prefatory remarks influence the reader's experience of the text? Can reading ever be a "pure" activity with no outside influence of opinion?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the role that herbalists, druggists, and physicians occupied in Renaissance France, and how Bakhtin incorporates them into his study of the marketplace in Rabelais' novel. How does Bakhtin relate the material body to physicians and medicine? How does Rabelais portray bodily ailments, physicians, heath, life, death, and birth?

(see the answer keys)

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