The Decameron and those of The Canterbury Tales Essay

The Decameron and those of The Canterbury Tales Essay

Length: 886 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“Human freedom manifests itself in laughter. The tyrants of this planet are not touched by the works of the poets: they yawn at their laments; they regard their heroic songs as silly fairy-tales; they go to sleep during their religious poems: they fear only one thing, their mockery.”
- Freidrich Durrenmatt
Comedy in its true sense is any form of work or discourse with the intention on being humorous and to promote any form of laughter. Comedy is found usually in theatre, film, or even in written forms like poetry or prose. The fourteenth century gave life to two amazing collections of stories, The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio and The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. While some differences between The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales are evident in plot and subject, the similarities between both titles are striking. The comparison and contrast of both collections under the themes Marriage, Love, Sex, and Humour will show how both authors internalized their surroundings to place them into their respective masterpieces.
Boccaccio was born in 1313 and was the son of a businessman who aspired for his son, Boccaccio, to becoming a banker. He was sent to Naples for training where he showed no enthusiasm for commerce, his love was for literature. The moment he was free from paternal constraints, he began his quest into becoming a prolific writer of the middle ages. In 1351 he gave light to The Decameron one of his most famous works (Boccaccio Intro.). The Decameron is the one hundred stories told by ten story tellers which each told ten stories over ten days. The word in its original meaning is derived from “dec” meaning ten. The Decameron tells tales of love, sex, violence, intrigue, humour a...


... middle of paper ...


...grinding of the corn as the actions of sex.
Boccaccio and Chaucer found ways to produce humour and wit against both Upper and lower classes. They accomplish this through the use of religious and sexual humour. Boccaccio mocks all classes equally over the course of the various stories that allows every class to laugh at themselves just as much as laugh at everyone else. Both collection of The Decameron and the Canterbury Tales brings its readers to experience many of comedy’s forms, the show themselves in tragicomedy, mistaken identity, satire, farce, dramatic irony, slapstick comedic relief and many instances of punning and wit.



Works Cited

Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. Oxford World’s Classics. Oxford University Press Inc. 2008. Book. November 10, 2013.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. Penguin Books. Course Pack. November 15, 2013.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay Literary Analysis : The Canterbury Tales And The Decameron

- Literary Analysis In the classic story of the Canterbury Tales and the Decameron, one sees many similarities between the two books. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, and The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio are tales from different characters put together to make a story. In the Canterbury Tales, there is all sorts of people from all social class making this pilgrimage to Canterbury from London. There are people like a knight, cook, shipman, man on the law, merchant, friar, monk, and yeoman and more....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer]

Better Essays
1126 words (3.2 pages)

The Canterbury Tales versus The Decameron: Literary Kissing Cousins Essay examples

- At the end of the thirteenth century and moving into the fourteenth, a cultural revolution was unfolding in Italy. This would sweep away the old medieval order and usher in a new age of creativity and enlightenment. This period, known as the Italian Renaissance, had started in the city of Florence and would soon spread to other regions of the Italian peninsula such as Venice and Rome. It was a rebirth of the Italian culture, brought on by a renewed interest in the classical cultures of ancient Rome and Greece....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
1490 words (4.3 pages)

Insight into Human Nature in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay examples

- Insight into Human Nature in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, (written c. 1387), is a richly varied compilation of fictional stories as told by a group of twenty-nine persons involved in a religious pilgrimage to Canterbury, England during the fourteenth century. This journey is to take those travelers who desire religious catharsis to the shrine of the holy martyr St. Thomas a Becket of Canterbury. The device of a springtime pilgrimage provided Chaucer with a diverse range of characters and experiences, with him being both a narrator and an observer....   [tags: Canterbury Tales Essays]

Free Essays
1394 words (4 pages)

Comparing Cantebury Tales and The Decameron Essay

- Comparing Cantebury Tales and The Decameron There are many different roles for women shown in “The Canterbury Tales” and “The Decameron”. Both books take place around the same time frame, 1300AD. “The Canterbury Tales”, takes place in London, England and “The Decameron” takes place in Florence, Italy. It would be just to think that since both books take place in a western civilization, both books would reflect the same morals and daily life styles. This is not the case at all. Throughout this paper I will attempt to show how these two books portrayed a totally different lifestyle....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
792 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Geoffrey Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales

- The Canterbury Tales, written by the Father of English Poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer, is a poem based around twenty-nine pilgrims, as well as the narrator, who are going on a pilgrimage to Canterbury for prayer. The Prologue frames the tales of the characters like a picture, with the tales acting as the photograph. Each character’s tale is explained in their point of view, holding a moral behind each tale. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem, The Canterbury Tales, he borrows central ideas from his time period and life, earlier works in history, satire, and themes to develop the tales of his characters....   [tags: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, Poetry]

Better Essays
1183 words (3.4 pages)

Geoffrey Chaucer 's Use Of Satire Essay

- Chaucer’s Use of Satire An Analysis of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Use of Satire in The Canterbury Tales Every author has a set agenda before writing their piece of literature. Without an agenda, there is no motivation to write such piece of literature. This holds true with Geoffrey Chaucer. In the 14th century, Chaucer read Boccaccio’s Decameron, and was inspired to write his own version of the Decameron essentially. Therefore, Chaucer came up with The Canterbury Tales. Although The Canterbury Tales is very controversial, it was widely famous at the time Chaucer wrote it....   [tags: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales]

Better Essays
1451 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about William Shakespeare 's The King Of The English Language

- Throughout a student 's scholastic career, they will a variety of writers, but who is the most important. If you ask a student what author they remember the most, many of them will say Shakespeare. When first handed Romeo and Juliet, the freshman classes at Worland High will complain at how complex and difficult it is to read. What they don 't know, is there are three different periods to the history of the English language. The first part started in about 1000 Common Era with the author known as Beowulf....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, The Pardoner's Tale]

Better Essays
1731 words (4.9 pages)

Analysis Of The Book ' The Boy Who Cried Wolf ' Essay

- Final: Living in the Present Many authors attempt to portray elements in their literary work that serve as a life lesson to their audience. Even if that life lesson does not pop out at the reader immediately, they are always there. For example: in the story The Boy who Cried Wolf, a boy repeatedly lies about seeing a wolf and, when it gets to the point that he does see the wolf, no one believes him because he has lied so many times about seeing it. The reader is given a life lesson by the author of what happens when people lie repeatedly and not to lie because no one will believe what is being said....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, The Pardoner's Tale]

Better Essays
1332 words (3.8 pages)

What's Really Being Tested in The Clerk's Tale? Essay

- By any contemporary standards of behavior, Griselda actions are reprehensible; not only does she relinquish all semblances of personal volition, she deserts all duties of maternal guardianship as she forfeits her daughter and son to the--in so far as she knows--murderous intent of her husband. Regardless of what we think of her personal subservience to Walter, the surrendering of her children is a hard point to get around. Even the ever-testing Marquis himself, at his wife's release of their second child says he would have suspected her of malice and hardness of her heart had he not known for sure that she loved her children (IV 687-95)....   [tags: Chaucer Canterbury Tales]

Free Essays
3137 words (9 pages)

The Franklin of the General Prologue Essay

- The Franklin of the General Prologue is the only pilgrim of social substance apart from the knight, whose pretensions Chaucer seems to spare. He rides alongside the Sergeant of the Law, which argues that he is, himself, a legally minded man (indeed he has been sheriff; knight of the shire; county auditor and head of the local magistrates). He is described as the "St Julian of his country", so open and generous in his hospitality that "It snewed in his hous of mete and drynke". He is described as "sangwyn" (the type which is generally jolly, healthy and good tempered) and he is an Epicurean - one dedicated to pleasurable life through the exercise of virtue....   [tags: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales]

Better Essays
1573 words (4.5 pages)