Pantagruel's Fertility and his "Other World"

When Pantagruel inadvertently gives birth to creatures bypassing gas, Panurge notes that his “pets sont… si fertiles” (281). He is infact so fertile that he creates an entire race that he names the Pygmies whoare “volontiers colériques” because “la raison physiologique est qu’ils ont lecoeur près de la merde” (281). Why does Rabelais insist upon Pantagruel’s fecalfertility only to send these creatures off to an island, completely separatedfrom the rest of the narrative? Pantagruel himself was born of a mother and afather and is therefore responsible for carrying on their legacy. So what doesthat make these creatures in relation to Pantagruel? He clearly does not thinkof them as his children, so what role do they play in Pantagruel’s life or inthe shaping of his character for the reader?

 

What is the significance of the “other world” inPantagruel’s mouth? The farmer inside Pantagruel’s mouth notes that outsidethere is “une terre neuve” and that his world is older. We witnessedPantagruel’s birth and we know his ancestry, so how are we to interpret thefact that his world is older than the outside world? Does this other worldsuggest that Pantagruel is somehow able to sustain life and perhaps “give birth”to a civilization in yet another way?  

 

After Pantagruel’s men enter his body in capsules to curehim, the narrator seems to glorify these bronze capsules (341). Although thecapsules were used to export excrement from inside Pantagruel’s body, thenarrator compares them to the Trojan Horse—an object that was used to invade,not to export (and one that demonstrated bravery and genius in a much lesscomic way). He also notes that one of the pills is at Orléans, on the steepleof the “église Sainte-Croix.” What does Rabelais mean to say by comparing thesecapsules to the Trojan Horse and by placing one in the steeple of a church? Ishe commenting on religion, on decoration, or on something else?