The Letters of Abelard and Heloise Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Peter the Venerable say Abelard's last days with him were devoted to?

2. What does Abelard say nuns should study?

3. How does God view virtue in pagans, according to Abelard in Letter 7?

4. Who does Heloise say in Letter 6 Abelard should imitate?

5. What did Abelard do right before he died?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

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 Is it an allegory for all lovers or a historical document pertaining to two people alone?

(see the answer keys)

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