Despite a good deal of excellent work on Rabelais's Tiers Livre in the last thirty years, some of the most fundamental issues of the book have not yet been satisfactorily resolved. The character of Panurge, for example, has been explained in a variety of mutually exclusive ways, all of which are plausible but none of them absolutely compelling. Panurge has been understood as a positive character whose noble quest for an absolute Answer serves to reveal the limits of existing human knowledge, and to expose the vain pretensions of the learned. He has also been understood as precisely the opposite: a negative character whose self-love blinds him to the Evangelical wisdom of characters like Pantagruel and Hippothadée. And most recently he has been understood as neither of these, but rather as a pretext for, and an agent of, Rabelais's own verbal virtuosity, or of a ludic inquiry into the nature of language.