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. "Fat William," of comic folklore, symbolized:

2. To what are "swabs" most closely related?

3. Bakhtin asserts that Rabelais' language, and the language of Renaissance France, was above all:

4. In the Fourth Book, why does Villon set a trap for Tappecoue (or "Ticklepecker")?

5. In Rabelais' novel, the "ancestral body" to which Bakhtin refers means:

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is "cosmic fear," and how is it treated in Renaissance folk culture?

4. How do the Medieval and Renaissance pictures of the cosmos differ?

5. How is "folly" ambivalent?

6. What was "prandial libertinism"?

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

8. How did games and gaming change after the Renaissance?

9. Why is the "Hippocratic Anthology" significant to Rabelais' work?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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