Love, Irony And Death: Nine Page Paper Reviewing The Decameron Novel

2425 words - 10 pages

Decameron EssayLove, Irony and Death A semi-detailed account of Giovanni Boccaccio's life can be drawn out through the works he left behind as well as records written by family and friends. The literary masterpieces he has completed include La Caccia di Diana, The Aepor Celsiludinis, Mavortis Miles, Nerevus Amphitribus, Sacretamis, Tesedia, Filostrato, Comedia Ninfe, Amorosa Visione, Elegiadi Madonna, Ninfale Fiesolano and, of course, Dacameron.Boccaccio was born in 1313 to a wealthy merchant, Boccaccino di Chellino, and unknown woman. Although he was an illegitimate child, his father took him into his home, even making sure he got a proper education. He traveled with his father to Naples in 1327 and lived there at a large banking house. Naples was a highly cosmopolitan and modern place at this time. Boccaccio's studies were mostly utilitarian, and he concentrated mostly on canoan law. These were probably the best years of his life, as a very attentive, very articulate student and young man. Boccaccio idolized the life and works of Petrarch and Dante.Later in life, Boccaccio would enroll at Naples University, where he encountered a fierce love of life. Aside from several Dante and Petrarch-inspired sonnets and poetry, he wrote his first work, Diana's Hunt. In this narrative, the Dantean views are clearly outlined, and brings to light the glory of sensual love.Some scholars believe that the composition of The Dacameron started in 1348 and that the masterpiece was finished perhaps as early as 1350 and no later than 1352. In 1350, Boccaccio finally met his hero, Petrarch, in Florence for the jubilee celebration in Rome. Boccaccio persuaded his idol to stop off in Florence on the way. The meeting was that of happiness for both writers. This union led to an ongoing friendship, and the two men often wrote each other, and visited as frequently as these dangerous times would allow.During the summer of 1372, things took a turn for Boccaccio. He became severely ill. However, in the fall of that same year, he started his series of public lectures on Dante's Comedy. His public speeches continued until the spring of 1374, when he was struck with sadness at the death of his dear friend and preceptor, Petrarch. His grief is clearly marked in a mournful sonnet to Petrarch's son-in-law. The grief-struck Boccaccio did not linger long, however. He died on December 21, 1375.Some hypothesize that the book was named The Decameron because there are precisely one hundred stories. Another idea is that the meaning takes after the ten storytellers that are presented in the novel. Boccaccio describes the Black Death "dreadful and pitiful to all those who saw or heard about it." This is probably because it claimed the lives of almost his entire immediate family. It no doubt brought about a great deal of emotions in the writer, from sadness and anger to helplessness and despair. In the introduction, Boccaccio takes us through an entire spectrum emotions, like the rise...

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