Course Syllabus

Course Syllabus - Sex, Love and Tragedy in Italian Medieval...

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Sex, Love and Tragedy in Italian Medieval Literature The course will explore the basic themes that have been haunting humankind since the dawn of civilization: sex and love as they often take a tragic turn. Whether they are expressed as animal sexual instinct or tender affection, these are the forces that link human beings together. The time covered in the course spans from 1265, Dante's date of birth, to 1375, when Boccaccio died. During this time one civilization ended and another began. Dante is the last great voice of Medieval Italy. Boccaccio links the medieval way of life to the age of Humanism, and Petrarch, torn by unresolved inner conflicts, stands as the first "modern man." From Dante's Divine Comedy we read Inferno and Purgatorio . The human tragedy of hopelessness is present in the state of mind of the souls in Inferno , while in Purgatorio the certainty of salvation from human misery gives form to a sense of positive achievement. Humanity is again represented by Boccaccio in his Decameron : a kaleidoscope of human behavior. This book may shock modern readers for its candor in depicting the human soul within the widest range of life experiences. Love is expressed through innocent sexual feelings, self denial, honesty, base cheating, and lust. One can compare Boccaccio with
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Course Syllabus - Sex, Love and Tragedy in Italian Medieval...

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