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 4, what does Heloise beg Abelard NOT to do?

2. What was Abelard and Heloise's son named?

3. Who was Abelard's second enemy in the university system?

4. What is the relationship between the first letter and the others?

5. What does Heloise tell Abelard she will do for him?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Who was Anselm of Laon and how did he figure in Abelard's career?

6. In Letter 2, what does Heloise say her motive for writing was?

7. How does Heloise surprise Abelard in Letter 4, and what does he do in response in Letter 5?

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

9. How is Letter 7 organized?

10. Why does Abelard say in Letter 5 he filled Heloise with distress in his previous letter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the God to whom Abelard and Heloise show their devotion. What does he want, how does he behave, and what kind of behavior does he encourage in human beings? Does he ever respond to their prayers? How, or why not?

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

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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