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 remind Heloise he did when she was pregnant?

2. What does Abelard ask Heloise to consider?

3. What does Abelard say is the cause of his feeling?

4. What does Abelard say is a danger to Heloise's body?

5. In Letter 4, for what does Heloise say she is grateful?

Short Essay Questions

1. What sources does Abelard use in prescribing his rule to Heloise in Letter 8?

2. How does Heloise compare Abelard and God?

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

4. What does Abelard assure to Heloise in Letter 3?

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

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

7. Describe Abelard's arguments in favor of an abbess in charge of the convent.

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

9. How does Heloise end Letter 3 to Abelard?

10. What intercession does the author of Letter 9 want to make?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 Is it an allegory for all lovers or a historical document pertaining to two people alone?

Essay Topic 2

How would Abelard and Heloise answer Nietzsche's claim that Christian morality is slave morality that celebrates the weakness of the followers as against the master morality that celebrates the strength of the masters?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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