Essays on the decameron

Finally, the society is projected as having placed sexual desires, wealth and power to the fore. Boccacio never alludes to this directly but by highlighting the weaknesses that the institutions and society perceive as normal, the question of ideal society, sexual relations and means of wealth acquisition and thus prosperity come into mind. The pursuit of all these human desires seems to have blinded the society and thus a corrupt image characterizes the interaction of all the characters in the tales. Ultimately, conventional morality and Christian values poked fun by Boccacio through envisaged demoralization of the church highlight the satirical bias in this 14-th century masterpiece.

The Decameron is set in 1348, when the Black Death was ravaging the city of Florence, as portrayed by Boccaccio in his famous description of plague's effect on people and places. While chaos reigns in the streets and every friendship or kinship is broken by the plague's fear, seven young gentlewomen gather in the church of Santa Maria Novella to pray and try to find out some way to face the situation. The oldest of the group, Pampinea, suggest to leave the city and thus avoid the sad vision of deaths, the risk of contagion and the lack of authority which eventually had weakened all social and moral controls.

Essays on the decameron

essays on the decameron


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