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Describe The Decameron: Its Form And Contents, Etc (Essay Sample)


Read the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio and write a three page paper. Choosing the one of the topics from the picture.


The Decameron
Describe the Decameron (When and where it was written, its form and contents, etc). Pay particular attention to the cornice (frame) and explain why Boccaccio decided to start his book with a detailed portrayal of the plague.
The Decameron is one of the great fountainheads of storytelling. Written in Florence, Italy after the epidemic of 1348 and completed in 1353, the book offers tales that range from tragic to erotic. This includes practical jokes, tales of wit, and life lessons that contribute to the mosaic. Moreover, apart from its literary value and widespread influence on European literature, the Decameron offers a record of how life was at that particular time. However, unlike other tales such as “The Arabian Nights,” the 100 tales in the Decameron offer nothing in the way of fantasy or magic. Instead, The Decameron depicts that prodigies and marvels do not spring from supernatural but rather from the chance and coincidence governing even the best regulated human existence.
Nevertheless, just like other writers, Boccaccio borrowed some of the plots of his stories. As a result, some of the tales in the book have their origin in Spain, India, France, Latin America, and Persia. However, the uniqueness of the book lies in its narrative structure that consists of 3 men and seven women. In their narratives, the male storytellers are often cynical on the subject of ladies constancy and sincerity. As a result, the Decameron addresses a female audience that continuously rejects the medieval stereotype of Eve and her daughters as begetters of sinfulness (Ferme, 2015). Hence, Boccaccio was a man who loved women, and whose empathy with them transcended the culture and prejudices of his age.
The frame of the Decameron
The Decameron consists of a group of stories united by a frame story. As the frame narrative begins, seven women and three men flee Florence due to the plague into a villa in Fiesole. Consequently, each participant must tell a story resulting in 100 stories. However, it is the only Dioneo who tells the tenth story every day based on any theme he decides on. As a result, many historians and authors have argued that Dieneo expresses the views of Boccaccio himself. Furthermore, each day ends with a canzone (song), which represents Boccaccio’s finest poetry.
The interaction of numerous stories in a day or across days as Boccaccio depicts in this particular fram

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