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 does the "form" of any kind of art express?

2. Why does Gargantua steal the bells of the Notre Dame cathedral?

3. Medieval parodies were:

4. How is the Rabelaisian use of tripe an excellent example of grotesque realism?

5. In the seventeenth century, the decline of laughter as a primary force in folk culture resulted from:

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Describe the Catchpoles and what they symbolize.

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

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

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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