The universality of the "The Decameron" is satisfied only by terrestrial space. Framing the narrative does not immediately state about the new humanistic principles of aesthetic depiction of reality. The pictured plague in Florence in is a description from the eyes of an eyewitness. The story is condensed in a specific artistic time - a modern writer close to the writer. At the same time, the novel has also conventions, in it the destiny general and destiny individual: in " plague " city nevertheless there are God's temples, cells of culture and mercy, and in one of them, in church of Santa Maria, there are seven young beautiful women - Pampina, Fiametta, Filomena, Neifil, Emilia, Lauretta, Eliza.
Over time, there are three noble young men: Panfilo, Filostrato and Dioneo. Young people conspire to leave Florence and wait for the cholera to leave in one of the country villas. Their very time spending is a model of a new, humanistic communication, cultural leisure, brightened by the indifference of young people, which, nevertheless, never turns into courteous courtship and does not provide for a serious passion.
Novella-Framing remains static in this plan, its function is to embrace all other novels with which it relates as the ideal with the real, the conditional with the concrete. And yet, the inner composition of the framing novel is the contrast between chaos as the most terrible life phenomenon and harmonious human personality, represented by ten narrators. In "The Decameron" the problems are universal and, at the same time, social.
There he lay still for a while, the eyes of all in the church being riveted upon him in expectation of the result; then, being a very practised performer, he stretched, first, one of his fingers, next a hand, afterwards an arm, and so forth, making as if he gradually recovered the use of all his natural powers. Which the people observing raised such a clamour in honour of St. Arrigo that even thunder would have been inaudible. Who that saw him come but would have believed that he was really paralysed?
No, by God returned the Florentine he has always been as straight as any of us; he has merely shewn you that he knows better than any man alive how to play this trick of putting on any counterfeit semblance that he chooses.
Filostrato narrates this tale, which Boccaccio certainly took from Apuleius's The Golden Ass , the same source as tale V, Friar Rinaldo lies with his godchild's mother: her husband finds him in the room with her; and they make him believe that he was curing his godson of worms by a charm. Elissa tells this tale, which has so many similar versions in French, Italian, and Latin, that it is impossible to identify one as a potential source for this one.
The relationship between a child's godparent and biological parent was considered so sacred at the time that intercourse between them was considered incest. This belief is ridiculed by Boccaccio in a later tale VII, Tofano one night locks his wife out of the house. Finding that she cannot convince him to let her in, she pretends to throw herself into a well, throwing a large stone inside.
Tofano comes out of the house, and runs to the spot, and she goes into the house, locks him out, and hurls abuse at him from within. Lauretta is the narrator of this very old tale. A later version from the 11th century is found in Disciplina Clericalis , which was written in Latin by Petrus Alphonsi , a Jewish convert to Christianity. The tale was very popular and appears in many vernacular languages of the era.
A jealous husband disguises himself as a priest, and hears his own wife's confession: she tells him that she loves a priest, who comes to her every night. The husband posts himself at the door to watch for the priest, and meanwhile the lady brings her lover in by the roof, and tarries with him. Madonna Isabella has with her Leonetto, her accepted lover, when she is surprised by Messer Lambertuccio, by whom she is beloved: her husband coming home about the same time, she sends Messer Lambertuccio forth of the house drawn sword in hand, and the husband afterwards escorts Leonetto home.
Pampinea narrates this version of a common medieval tale which originates from the Hitopadesha of India. Lodovico tells Madonna Beatrice the love that he has for her. She sends Egano, her husband, into a garden disguised as herself, and lies with Lodovico. Afterwards, being risen, Lodovico goes to the garden and cudgels Egano.
Filomena's humorous tale probably derives from an earlier French fabliau. A husband grows jealous of his wife, and discovers that she has warning of her lover's approach by a piece of pack-thread, which she ties to her great toe at nights. While he is pursuing her lover, she puts another woman in bed in her place.
The husband, finding her there, beats her, and cuts off her hair. He then goes and calls his wife's brothers, who, holding his accusation to be false, subject him to a torrent of abuse. Neifile tells this tale. It comes originally from the Pantschatantra and later forms part of other tale collections in Sanskrit, Arabic, French, and Persian. Boccaccio probably used a French version of the tale. Lydia, wife of Nicostratus, loves Pyrrhus, who to assure himself thereof, asks three things of her, all of which she does, and therewithal enjoys him in presence of Nicostratus, and makes Nicostratus believe that what he saw was not real.
Panfilo narrates. Boccaccio combined two earlier folk tales into one to create this story. The test of fidelity is previously recorded in French a fabliau and Latin Lidia , an elegiac comedy , but comes originally from India or Persia. The story of the pear tree, best known to English-speaking readers from The Canterbury Tales , also originates from Persia in the Bahar-Danush , in which the husband climbs a date tree instead of a pear tree.
Two Sienese men love a lady, one of them being her child's godfather: the godfather dies, having promised his comrade to return to him from the other world; which he does, and tells him what sort of life is led there. As usual, Dioneo narrates the last tale of the day. See the commentary for VII, 3 for information about the relation between a child's parent and godparent.
Lauretta reigns during the eighth day of storytelling. During this day the members of the group tell stories of tricks women play on men or that men play on women. Gulfardo borrows moneys of Guasparruolo, which he has agreed to give Guasparruolo's wife, that he may lie with her. He gives them to her, and in her presence tells Guasparruolo that he has done so, and she acknowledges that it is true.
Neifile narrates. This tale and the next one comes from a 13th-century French fabliau by Eustache d'Amiens. English speakers know it best from Chaucer 's " The Shipman's Tale ". Chaucer borrowed from the same fabliau as Boccaccio did. The priest of Varlungo lies with Monna Belcolore: he leaves with her his cloak by way of pledge, and receives from her a mortar.
He returns the mortar, and demands of her the cloak that he had left in pledge, which the good lady returns him with a gibe. Calandrino , Bruno and Buffalmacco go in quest of the heliotrope bloodstone beside the Mugnone.
Thinking to have found it, Calandrino gets him home laden with stones. His wife chides him: whereat he waxes wroth, beats her, and tells his comrades what they know better than he. Elissa narrates this tale, the first in which Bruno and Buffalmacco appear. The two were early Renaissance Italian painters. However, both are known far better for their love of practical jokes than for their artistic work.
Boccaccio probably invented this tale himself, though, and used well known jokers as characters. The rector of Fiesole loves a widow lady, by whom he is not loved and, in attempting to lie with her, is tricked by the lady to have sex with her maid, with whom the lady's brothers cause him to be found by his Bishop. Three young men pull down the breeches of a judge from the Marches, while he is administering justice on the bench. Bruno and Buffalmacco steal a pig from Calandrino, and induce him to deduce its recovery by means of pills of ginger and Vernaccia wine.
Of the said pills they give him two, one after the other, made of dog-ginger compounded with aloes ; and it then appearing as if he had had the pig himself, they constrain him to buy them off, if he would not have them tell his wife. Filomena narrates. Just like Bruno and Buffalmacco, Calandrino was also in reality a 14th-century Italian Renaissance painter. However, Calandrino was known as a simpleton by his contemporaries.
It is possible that this tale may be true and Boccaccio recorded it first. The test that Bruno and Buffalmacco submit Calandrino to was really a medieval lie detector test and the tale is consistent with what we know about the characters of the three painters.
A scholar loves a widow lady, who, being enamoured of another, causes him to spend a winter's night awaiting her in the snow. He afterwards by a stratagem causes her to stand for a whole day in July, naked upon a tower, exposed to the flies, the gadflies, and the sun.
Pampinea tells this story of revenge over spurned love, which has many common analogues in many languages in antiquity , the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and early modern periods.
Two men keep with one another: the one lies with the other's wife: the other, being aware of it, manages with the aid of his wife to have the one locked in a chest, upon which he then lies with the wife of him that is locked therein.
Fiammetta narrates this tale. Like many of the eighth day it has a theme in common with many tales from the ancient and medieval era and it is not possible to point to one source that served as Boccaccio's inspiration.
Bruno and Buffalmacco prevail upon Master Simone, a physician, to betake him by night to a certain place, there to be enrolled in a company that go the course. Buffalmacco throws him into a foul ditch, and there they leave him. Lauretta narrates another tale about Bruno and Buffalmacco and their practical jokes. This story is probably just a vehicle for Boccaccio's ability to coin word play , just as tale VI, 10 did.
A Sicilian woman cunningly conveys from a merchant that which he has brought to Palermo ; he, making a show of being come back with far greater store of goods than before, borrows money of her, and leaves her in lieu thereof water and tow. The story that Dioneo tells is found in Alphonsus's Disciplina Clericalis and the Gesta Romanorum , both of which are written in Latin. Emilia is queen of the brigata for the ninth day. For the second time there is no prescribed theme for the stories of the day the only other time was during the first day.
Madonna Francesca, having two lovers, the one Rinuccio, the other Alessandro, by name, and loving neither of them, induces the one to simulate a corpse in a tomb, and the other to enter the tomb to fetch him out: whereby, neither satisfying her demands, she artfully rids herself of both.
An abbess rises in haste and in the dark, with intent to surprise an accused nun in bed with her lover: thinking to put on her veil, she puts on instead the breeches of a priest that she has with her. The nun, after pointing out her abbess's head covering, is acquitted, and thenceforth finds it easier to meet with her lover. The former was the more likely source for Boccaccio. Master Simone, at the insistence of Bruno and Buffalmacco and Nello, makes Calandrino believe that he is pregnant.
Calandrino, accordingly, gives them capons and money for medicines, and is cured without being delivered. Cecco, son of Messer Fortarrigo, loses his all at play at Buonconvento, besides the money of Cecco, son of Messer Angiulieri; whom, running after him in his shirt and crying out that he has robbed him, he causes to be taken by peasants: he then puts on his clothes, mounts his palfrey, and leaves him to follow in his shirt. Calandrino falls in love with Niccolosa, the wife of the master of the house.
Bruno gives him a scroll , averring that, if he touches her with it, she will do anything he says. They are discovered together by his wife, Tessa, who proceeds to beat and scratch him.
Two young men lodge at an inn, of whom the one lies with the host's daughter, his wife accidentally lying with the other. He that lay with the daughter afterwards gets into her father's bed and tells him all, taking him to be his comrade. They exchange words: whereupon the good woman, apprehending the circumstances, gets her to bed with her daughter, and by divers apt words re-establishes perfect accord. By invoking the name Prencipe Galeotto in the alternative title to Decameron , Boccaccio alludes to a sentiment he expresses in the text: his compassion for women deprived of free speech and social liberty, confined to their homes and, at times, lovesick.
He contrasts this life with that of the men free to enjoy hunting, fishing, riding, and falconry. In Italy during the time of the Black Death , a group of seven young women and three young men flee from plague-ridden Florence to a deserted villa in the countryside of Fiesole for two weeks.
To pass the evenings, each member of the party tells a story each night, except for one day per week for chores, and the holy days during which they do no work at all, resulting in ten nights of storytelling over the course of two weeks. Thus, by the end of the fortnight they have told stories. Each of the ten characters is charged as King or Queen of the company for one of the ten days in turn. This charge extends to choosing the theme of the stories for that day, and all but two days have topics assigned: examples of the power of fortune; examples of the power of human will; love tales that end tragically; love tales that end happily; clever replies that save the speaker; tricks that women play on men; tricks that people play on each other in general; examples of virtue.
Only Dioneo, who usually tells the tenth tale each day, has the right to tell a tale on any topic he wishes, due to his wit.
These framing interludes frequently include transcriptions of Italian folk songs. Recurring plots of the stories include mocking the lust and greed of the clergy; female lust and ambition on a par with male lust and ambition; tensions in Italian society between the new wealthy commercial class and noble families; and the perils and adventures of traveling merchants.
Throughout the Decameron the mercantile ethic prevails and predominates. The commercial and urban values of quick wit, sophistication, and intelligence are treasured, while the vices of stupidity and dullness are cured, or punished. While these traits and values may seem obvious to the modern reader, they were an emerging feature in Europe with the rise of urban centers and a monetized economic system beyond the traditional rural feudal and monastery systems which placed greater value on piety and loyalty.
Beyond the unity provided by the frame narrative, the Decameron provides a unity in philosophical outlook. Throughout runs the common medieval theme of Lady Fortune , and how quickly one can rise and fall through the external influences of the " Wheel of Fortune ". Boccaccio had been educated in the tradition of Dante's Divine Comedy , which used various levels of allegory to show the connections between the literal events of the story and the Christian message.
However, the Decameron uses Dante's model not to educate the reader but to satirize this method of learning. The Roman Catholic Church , priests, and religious belief become the satirical source of comedy throughout.
This was part of a wider historical trend in the aftermath of the Black Death which saw widespread discontent with the church. Many details of the Decameron are infused with a medieval sense of numerological and mystical significance. It is further supposed [ by whom? Boccaccio himself notes that the names he gives for these ten characters are in fact pseudonyms chosen as "appropriate to the qualities of each".
The Italian names of the seven women, in the same most likely significant order as given in the text, are Pampinea, Fiammetta, Filomena, Emilia, Lauretta, Neifile, and Elissa.
The men, in order, are Panfilo, Filostrato, and Dioneo. Boccaccio focused on the naturalness of sex by combining and interlacing sexual experiences with nature. Boccaccio borrowed the plots of almost all his stories just as later writers borrowed from him. Although he consulted only French, Italian and Latin sources, some of the tales have their origin in such far-off lands as India, the Middle East, Spain, and other places.
Some were already centuries old. The frame narrative structure though not the characters or plot originates from the Panchatantra , [ citation needed ] which was written in Sanskrit before AD and came to Boccaccio through a chain of translations that includes Old Persian , Arabic , Hebrew , and Latin. Even the description of the central motivating event of the narrative, the Black Plague which Boccaccio surely witnessed , is not original, but is based on a description in the Historia gentis Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon , who lived in the 8th century.
Some scholars have suggested that some of the tales for which no prior source has been found may still not have been invented by Boccaccio, but may have been circulating in the local oral tradition, of which Boccaccio availed himself. Boccaccio himself says that he heard some of the tales orally. In VII, 1, for example, he claims to have heard the tale from an old woman who heard it as a child.
The fact that Boccaccio borrowed the storylines that make up most of the Decameron does not mean he mechanically reproduced them. Most of the stories take place in the 14th century and have been sufficiently updated to the author's time that a reader may not know that they had been written centuries earlier or in a foreign culture. Reviewer: dg - August 22, I was beginning to think my ear was becoming tuned in on the accent, but I'm sure this would be an interesting book from what I could understand ,but I was just unable to keep listening.
I got tired after a few minutes because I could not concentrate on the story. What on earth for? Just bec it is free does not mean they have to release this mediocre rendering I assure you that even I can do a much better job that readers like JT and Debone wld find it way more pleasurable to listen to bec they can actually understand what I wld be saying Reviewer: Ida Ewing - June 21, Terrible accent that is hardly comprehensibleThe Decameron essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. Gardens in Confessions and Decameron; Poetic Justice in Boccaccio's Decameron VIII:7 with .