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. To whom did Abelard write the first letter?

2. How, in Letter 5, does Abelard say Heloise should see him now?

3. What does Heloise say are her feelings toward God?

4. What does Heloise say is Abelard's relation with her now?

5. What does Abelard remind Heloise he did when she was pregnant?

Short Essay Questions

1. What two things does Heloise ask Abelard in Letter 6?

2. How does Heloise end Letter 3 to Abelard?

3. What is Abelard's advice with regard to scripture?

4. Describe what Fulbert's family did to Abelard.

5. How does Heloise close Letter 2 to Abelard?

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

7. List a few examples Abelard uses of women serving Christianity.

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

9. Who are the correspondents in Letter 9?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Research the history of the letters of Abelard and Heloise. By what mechanisms were they transmitted to posterity? Who made sure that these letters survived? Were they ever in danger of being lost? What value do written texts have to Abelard and Heloise and their culture? What makes the written absolution important? What provision is made for the preservation of textual culture?

Essay Topic 2

Peter the Venerable's letter to the pope is the first interjection from outside of Abelard and Heloise. What is Peter the Venerable's role in this epistolary conversation? What is his authority in this relationship? How does his appearance change the correspondence?

Essay Topic 3

What is the role of the outside world on the story of Abelard and Heloise? Where does it figure in their letters, and how does it affect their story? How does French monastic and political history appear to us through the lens of these letters?

(see the answer keys)

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