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. What does Abelard say motivated him to tell Heloise the things that filled her with despair?

2. What did William of Champeaux do at the beginning of Abelard's career?

3. Where did Abelard study?

4. What does Heloise say was her and Abelard's sin?

5. What occasions Heloise's feelings about God?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Abelard end Letter 7?

2. In Letter 7, what examples of women in the church does Abelard use from antiquity?

3. Where did Abelard go after he went to St. Denis?

4. What stance does Abelard take in Letter 5?

5. What does Heloise say about the men who call her chaste?

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

7. In what way does Heloise say Abelard is in debt to her?

8. How does Heloise end Letter 3 to Abelard?

9. What does Heloise ask Abelard at the end of Letter 2?

10. What does Abelard say about the Cumean Sibyl?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Describe the benefits of the Rules Abelard prescribes for Heloise and her nuns. What are the direct and indirect benefits of the Rules? Who benefits by them? How are the benefits reckoned, and are there other ways to look at the virtues of the Rules?

Essay Topic 2

Define the role of class status in The Letters of Abelard and Heloise. In what ways does Abelard and Heloise's class status affect their story? How would this story be different if they were poor from the outset?

Essay Topic 3

What is the power of prayer supposed to be in these letters? Are the letters themselves prayers? How is prayer distinct from these letters?

(see the answer keys)

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