Study Guide - Study Guide: Decameron: Boccaccio: 1313-1375...

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Study Guide: Decameron: Boccaccio: 1313-1375 End of middle ages and beginning of Renaissance I. late middle ages a. Book set in 1348 during the time of the black death b. One third of the population died and it took 2 centuries to recover the population II. Bubonic plague a. spread through contact and respiration, within three days you die b. Moved westward into Europe c. Florence (were Boccaccio lived) first major city in western Europe i. 50 -75 percent of the population was dead with in six months III. One of the best descriptions came from Decameron a. All social order broke down and collapsed b. In the midst of frenzy Decameron is written i. A group of 10 go to the hills outside Florence to escape pestilence 1. Women are high class and pleasant to the eye 2. together with 3 men they live in a castle w/ wine ii. Tell stories for ten days- begin wed iii. Take breaks on Friday and Sunday c. Prose fiction IV. Structure- three different worlds a. Narrator i. Wrote to charm ladies who have been afflicted w/ unrequited love ii. Cannot assume his identity as Boccaccio – he is fictional iii. Unreliable- stretches the truth to justify ones self b. Story tellers i. Well to do, lovely, courtly, noble c. World of the stories i. Not courtly, weird and unorthodox people, everyday people All centered in and around Florence - Florence was the leading artistic and intellectual center of Europe - Renaissance emerges out of Florence after the black death - Decameron captures that transitional feel The Stories Day one story one Ciappelletto - Drunkard and glutton found of men. Sent to Burgundy to collect debt. “Worse man on earth”” - Falls ill and to help the men he is staying with he tricks priest into ‘forgiving’ him - He is canonized; This story is a mock of the Roman Catholic Church Day three story one
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- Masetto pretends to be deaf and dumb and becomes a gardener for a convent where nuns compete to lie with him - Many nuns including the head mistress find out and join in - Masetto finally speaks and says “I had enough” Day four story one Ghismunda - Widowed; Her husband mysteriously dies Tancredi - Father, watches/ ‘loves’ his daughter, controlling Plot - when the father catches his daughter and her boyfriend having sex he watches them even though he wants to scream (voyeurism) - we as readers are watching in the same way - Confronts daughter who is not apologetic and threatens suicide - Father sends daughter her lovers hear in a chalice o He thinks he is calling her bluff o She pours poison over is kisses it then eats and drinks it Day four story five - Ellisabettas lover is killed by her brothers - Her lover appears to her in a dream and tells her where he is buried so she digs him up and plants his head in a basil plant which she weeps over every day - Her brothers find out and take it away. She dies of grief shortly after Day four story two - Brother Alberto (pimp murderer and all around awful person) convinces a lady that the Angle Gabriel is in love with her
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Study Guide - Study Guide: Decameron: Boccaccio: 1313-1375...

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