Monday, March 4, 2013


Bakhtin explores Rabelais’ folk humor during the Middle Ages and Renaissance era.  He argues that Rabelias concepts were misunderstood.  Explores two concepts based on Rabelais's humor.

I.   Carnivalesque humor
  • There are no hierarchical existing in religious, political and moral values  during carnival; allows for atmosphere of humor and chaos. The time of carnival everyone is seen as equals
  • Through costume and mask, individuals are allowed to temporarily exchange their  bodies or images to reflect that of another.  Fools become wise and royalty become beggars.
  •  Examples: clowns, jugglers, giants, and dwarfs
II.  Grotesque realism
  • Rabelais works displayed scatological humor.
  • Essential principle is the lowering of all that is high, spiritual, ideal, abstract. (Bakhtin)
  • Parodies during the mid evil period involved grotesque body concepts.
  • Focus was on the lower body and midsection; involved discussions and images of devouring,    defecation, urination, eating drinking and birth.
  • Use of unrealistic characters were seen as humorous.

 Modern examples of Rabelias' images and characters.


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