Rabelais And His World Analysis

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Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) was a Russian philosopher from early 20th century, famous for his studies on carnival in the Middle Ages. He believed that the medieval carnival was the purest sense of carnival and that modern carnival is merely an image of carnival, not the real experience. In his book Rabelais and his World (1965) he examines the work of François Rabelais and the folk culture of the Middle Ages, where the carnival is the main focus. It was said that the people of the Middle Ages lived two life, in a “two-world condition” (Bakhtin, 1965, p.6), this meaning they created some sort of second life of laughter. The people had their official life representing their rank, work, family and money, and their unofficial life which were a representation of their life in carnival where there were plenty of laughter, no social rank nor rules.…show more content…
“In spite of their variety, folk festivals of the carnival type, the comic rites and cults, the clowns and fools, giants, dwarfs and jugglers, the vast and manifold litterateur of parody - all these forms have one style in common: they belong to one culture of folk carnival humor.” (Bakhtin, 1965, p.4). Carnival was a way of bringing people from all classes together and to make people laugh in times where there were not much to laugh about as a lower class, it could last either for a day or up to three months, and it all started off with a big feast. “In one way it can be seen as yet another term for social centrifugal force which opposes the centralising imposition of the monologic world.” (Morris, 1994, p.20). It was a temporary suspension for the communication between the lower and upper class would in everyday life would otherwise be impossible if not for the

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