Rabelais and His World Test | Final 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 was gaming very important in the Renaissance?

2. Bakhtin defines Rabelais' giants as:

3. Bakhtin discusses "Cyprian's Supper," which is a play about:

4. Bakhtin asserts that in the episode of Gargantua's birth, the dividing lines between _______ are erased.

5. One of Rabelais' main sources for his enumerations of food was a Medieval treatise about:

Short Essay Questions

1. Briefly describe the two opposing lines of thought in the "querelle des femmes."

2. What does Bakhtin mean when he writes that popular-festive carnivalesque performances have no "footlights"?

3. What is the significance of the figure of the androgyne in Rabelais' novel?

4. What was "prandial libertinism"?

5. What is the significance of "cuckoldry," and how is it portrayed?

6. Discuss the significance of Gargantua's birth.

7. Why does the logic of the grotesque ignore the closed surfaces of the body?

8. What is the role of games in Rabelais' work?

9. Why are eating and drinking two of the most important manifestations of the grotesque body?

10. What is the significance of Friar John's description of the monastery belfry as "fecund"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss the meaning and significance of "grotesque realism." How is it manifested in Rabelais' time? How is the material body presented in the tradition of the grotesque? Why does Bakhtin connect folk culture so closely with the grotesque? Use examples from the text to support your points.

Essay Topic 3

Explain how laughter permeates every aspect of Renaissance folk culture, as Bakhtin argues it does. Cite specific examples from the text regarding the carnivalesque, the grotesque, official/unofficial modes of speech, and the ambivalence of certain forms and causes of laughter. Do these portrayals point to a greater "truth," as Bakhtin would say?

(see the answer keys)

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