The Letters of Abelard and Heloise 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. In Letter 5, what does Abelard say he is surprised by?

2. What does Heloise say, in Letter 4, she cannot find?

3. What does Heloise say will prevent her from praying for Abelard?

4. What does Abelard say in Letter 5 that he hopes to avoid?

5. What does Abelard make sure to say was NOT the case for his action?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Heloise say there should be different standards for women?

2. What caused the author of Letter 9to write the letter?

3. How does Peter the Venerable greet Heloise in Letter 10?

4. Describe Abelard's relationship with William of Champeaux.

5. What does Heloise say she did on Abelard's sake?

6. To what does Heloise appeal, in Letter 6, in justifying her argument?

7. Why does the author of Letter 9 say Abelard retreated to Cluny?

8. What contrast does Abelard draw with women's practices and men's?

9. Who are the correspondents in Letter 9?

10. Why does Abelard say he was avoiding contact with Heloise?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Prepare an argument for or against the proposition that the best way for wealthy people to gain virtue is to give up their possessions and practice poverty.

Essay Topic 2

How would the letters of Abelard and Heloise be written today? How would modern communication technology change the emotional tenor of this correspondence? What parts would remain trenchant? What parts would be lost?

Essay Topic 3

Evaluate the story of Abelard and Heloise as a love story. Is it compelling, tragic, uplifting, unique? Is it an allegory for all lovers or a historical document pertaining to two people alone?

(see the answer keys)

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