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. In what way does Heloise say Abelard disregarded custom?

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

4. How did Abelard seduce Heloise?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What happened after Abelard asked for a public transfer to the abbey from which he wrote the current letter?

2. What does Abelard say is the purpose of monastic life?

3. How does Heloise end Letter 3 to Abelard?

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

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

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

7. Who are the correspondents in Letter 9?

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

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

10. What does Heloise ask at the end of Letter 6?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Make an annotated map of the places where Abelard and Heloise's story unfolded, including Abelard's late travels. What does the map show us about the story? How did the landscape and geography affect the story?

(see the answer keys)

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