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. Bakhtin asserts that in Rabelais' time, food and banquets always contained a sense of:

2. What does the etymology of Gargantua's name suggest his name means?

3. Bakhtin finds food and drink representative of society because:

4. How does Bakhtin interpret Rabelais' work as a response to the hardships of France in 1532?

5. What does Rabelais associate closely with the underworld?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Bakhtin choose to relate Goethe to Rabelais' work?

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

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

4. Describe the figure of "Gros Guillaume" and his significance to Rabelais' novel.

5. What is significant about the language in which Rabelais writes and the sources of many of his words?

6. What was "prandial libertinism"?

7. How does Rabelais construct the episode of Epistemon's resurrection and of his visions in the underworld?

8. How does Rabelais respond to the geographical changes of his own time and world?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What roles do games play in Rabelais' novel and in the Renaissance? Discuss how games and gaming fulfill an "unofficial" social role as opposed to an "official" one. What images, traditions, and symbols does Bakhtin associate them with? How are games representative of folk culture? How did games and gaming change after the Renaissance?

Essay Topic 2

Define the term "carnivalesque" as Bakhtin uses it. Then, demonstrate this definition by applying it to at least two of the episodes, characters, or scenes which take place in Rabelais' novel. What does the carnivalesque demonstrate about the nature of folk culture? What role does humor play in the carnivalesque?

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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