Essay on The Decameron By Giovanni Boccaccio

Essay on The Decameron By Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio is about a group of seven women and three men who go to the countryside to avoid the black plague. During their stay in the countryside, they tell stories to each other to keep themselves entertained. On the eighth day of their stay, the theme for all of the stories is “tricks which women always seem to be playing on men or men on women” (Boccaccio VIII), which followed along the same lines as day seven which was about tricks wives played on their husbands. From these two days, Boccaccio provides the reader with many details on gender relations during the medieval period. Boccaccio differs from a lot of writers during his time because he shows how both men and women are equally affected by feelings of passion and provides examples of women and men being equally intelligent.
The first story on day seven was about a woman named, Monna Tessa, who was cheating on her husband, Gianni Lotteringhi, and her lover, Federigo, shows up while her husband was home. Monna Tessa convinces Gianni that the noise he hears is just a ghost that needs to be exorcised and he believes her. In this story Boccaccio shows how are capable of thinking quickly on their feet. When Monna Tessa exorcises the ghost she is really telling Federigo to go to the garden and wait for her later. Boccaccio also does not demonize Tessa for having an affair on her husband. Instead he makes the husband seem unintelligent for not knowing his wife was cheating on him. Boccaccio actually describes the husband as simpleton, showing he thought less of him.
Filostrato narrates the second story of that day and before he starts his story he mentions that husbands are constantly playing tricks on their wives. At first it seems as if he is belitt...


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...Piccarda, usually men who held positions in the church were deemed higher than women. Monna Piccarda wants him to stop harassing her, so she sets him up to sleep with her maidservant and he is caught by Bishop. Monna Piccarda was able to outwit the Rector and bring honor on herself for turning him in to the Bishop.
Throughout The Decameron, Boccaccio had many opportunities to demonize women but he used the stories to show the rest of society that women and men are equal in so many ways. He proves that men and women have equal sexual appetites and equally cunning. Many writers during this time did not always glorify women sexuality like Boccaccio did. Boccaccio also tried to address problems that were plaguing the female community, like being harassed by members of the church. Overall, Boccaccio did a great job displaying the similarities between the two genders.


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