Gargantua (gahr-GAHN-tew-ah), an affable prince, a giant—as an infant, more than two thousand ells of cloth are required to clothe him—who has many adventures. He travels over Europe and other parts of the world, fighting wars from which all prisoners are set free, straightening out disputes in other kingdoms, and helping his friends achieve their goals.
Pantagruel (PAHN-tah-grewl), Gargantua’s giant son, who once got an arm out of his swaddling clothes and ate the cow that was nursing him. Pantagruel was born when his father was four hundred years old. Accepting with good nature the responsibility of aiding the oppressed, he spends a good deal of his time traveling the earth with his companion Panurge. In their travels, they visit a land where all citizens have noses shaped like the ace of clubs and a country in which the people eat and drink nothing but air.
Panurge (PAHN-urzh), a beggar and Pantagruel’s companion, who knows sixty-three ways to make money and two hundred fourteen ways to spend it. He speaks twelve known and unknown tongues, but he does not know whether he should marry. Finally, he decides to consult the Oracle of the Sacred Bottle to find the answer to his question. The trip to the island of the Sacred Bottle is filled with adventures for...
(The entire section is 448 words.)