"The Moon Was Made Of Green Cheese"

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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 127

Context: Gargantua, the gigantic son of Grangosier and Gargamelle, as a small boy behaves with the same vulgarities of other boys, although his actions are exaggerated. "He was continually wallowing and rolling up and down in the mire." He believes in many of the superstitions that one hears laughingly quoted today, and Rabelais is poking fun at them. The belief about the moon and cheese was used by John Heywood in Proverbes (1546), Part II, chapter 7. It is of course a common reference today. Rabelais says about Gargantua's childhood:

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He would pull at the kid's leather, or vomit up his dinner, then reckon without his host. He would beat the bushes without catching the birds, thought the moon was made of green cheese, and that bladders are lanterns.

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