Middle_Ages%20%282%29 - The Middle Ages The Middle Ages...

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Unformatted text preview: The Middle Ages The Middle Ages English 2110­­Sandefur The Middle Ages (Medieval) The Middle Ages (Medieval) ► Name of period came from the Renaissance period (thought to be a time of “cultural emptiness”). ► The period between the middle of classical period and Renaissance ► In spite of stereotype, it is a period of great diversity in terms of cultures and viewpoints. Middle Ages cont’d Middle Ages cont’d ► Origin of many contemporary Western values and perceptions of Europe ► Development of works of literature in vernacular languages (one way The Divine Comedy is noteworthy) ► A period of complexities and contradictions Dante’s Inferno Dante’s English 2110­­Sandefur Justice—punishment for sin Justice—punishment for sin ► Contrapasso or “counter­penalty” ► Punishment of sin is the sin itself ► The worst sins are those that pervert God’s will (fraud worse than murder) Role of ancient tradition Role of ancient tradition ► Highly important role of Virgil (see pp. 1209­ 1211) ► Mythical figures present in Dante’s Hell ► Cassius and Brutus (betrayers of Julius Caesar) in lowest realm of Hell ► Dante saw empire of Augustus and necessary precursor to birth of Christ. Dante’s political beliefs Dante’s political beliefs ► Came to believe the Holy Roman emperor could bring order out of chaos ► Believed Roman Empire was divinely ordained ► Wanted separation between church and state ► The Inferno can be seen as revenge for his exile and political posturing Minos—judge of sin. Minos—judge of sin. Circle 2 Francesca and Paolo Francesca and Paolo Circle 2 (Lust) Ciacco Ciacco Circle 3 (gluttony) Avarice Avarice Circle 4 Wrathful and Slothful Wrathful and Slothful Circle 5 Heretics Heretics Circle 6 Wood of Suicides Circle 7 Sodomites (Violence against nature) Sodomites (Violence against nature) Circle 7 Simony Simony Circle 8 (bolgia 3) Hypocrites Hypocrites Circle 8, bolgia 6 Thieves Thieves Circle 8, bolvia 7 Traitors Traitors Circle 9 Satan Satan Circle 9 Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron While Dante’s work conveys a single truth, Boccaccio “celebrates a pragmatic and relativistic value system” (1327). Context: Decameron Context: Decameron ► Written 1350­53 ► Boccaccio as representative of shift to humanism of the Renaissance (as well as the literary traditions of the period) ► Boccaccio respected Dante but embraced the idea that literature can provide pleasure Context: Bubonic Plague Context: Bubonic Plague ► 1348­1350 ► 70 percent of citizens of Florence killed ► Boccaccio interested in the various reactions people had to the horror of the plague ► One relevant response was to seek pleasure (provides rationale for the entertaining, satirical tone of stories) Textual Elements Textual Elements ► Frame story in which author addresses reader and explains setting/context for stories ► 7 women, 3 men who escape to country estate ► Will take turns telling stories: 10 stories by each person over 10 days ► Genre: novella Thematic Thematic ► Decameron as transitional work—elements of Medieval and Renaissance periods (p. 1327) Thematic, cont’d Thematic, cont’d ► 1. What are some possible reasons for why Boccaccio chose the Black Plague as the context for the tales? ► 2. What might Boccaccio’s work suggest about the concepts of pleasure and love? ► 3. How would you characterize Boccaccio’s portrayal of women? ► 4. What does Boccaccio seem to be saying about religion? ...
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