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 was Abelard and Heloise's son named?

3. What does Abelard say he wants others' prayers to help him avoid?

4. What does Heloise say men say about her?

5. To what does Abelard refer her as proof of what he says?

Short Essay Questions

1. What stance does Abelard take in Letter 5?

2. What does Abelard say about the Cumean Sibyl?

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

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

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

6. How is Letter 7 organized?

7. What promise does Peter the Venerable make to Heloise in his last letter?

8. How does Heloise compare Abelard and God?

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

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

Make an annotated timeline that shows the events that led up to the story Abelard and Heloise relate between themselves. What other events were taking place in the world around Abelard and Heloise at this time?

Essay Topic 2

What does The Letters of Abelard and Heloise tell us about being male or female? How does the text represent masculinity and femininity? What are the roles appropriate to either gender? How do Abelard and Heloise define the differences? Where do they overlap?

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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