boccaccio’s decameron

Posted by admin on December 17, 2017 in Articles

Describe and elucidate the role of women in Boccaccio’s masterpiece, with reference to at least THREE female characters (either narrators or narrated).The Decameron is an exemplary tale of love, lust, fortune and demise, an illustrative example of irony and rebellion, twisted into form escorted by the predominant existence of gender disparity. Giovanni Boccaccio, a literary genius of his time, compiled together a hundred short stories embracing controversial aspects of the human realm, observing women in a more contemporary and consequentially, a more controversial light. Set in the mid fourteenth century, at a time when Italy as a nation was plagued with what is more commonly referred to as the Black Death, cultural norms and societal boundaries for women were unspoken limitations regarded, though selectively, as a significant necessity for interpersonal relationships. Boccaccio, through his gift of story telling and flair for expression unravels the conventional role of women and the contradictory truth about their mantle.
At first, Boccaccio’s opinions are fogged, as the reader would have a hard time establishing whether his regard for women inclined more towards misogyny or feminism. His views gradually become clearer and it can be said that Boccaccio considers women to be the more sensual species, simply threatened by norms of society caving to manipulation as redeemable means. Eroticism seems to set the foundation of The Decameron. It celebrates a woman’s stance on sex and sexual desire. While stereotypically men have always been regarded as “more susceptible to sexual desire”, it was all but noted in that time frame that women were “much more lustful than men” and in fact “carnal by nature” (Brown University, 2011) and harder to please than men. On the third day Dineo recites the tale of Alibech, a young girl blessed with wealth and beauty but damned by oblivion. She set off on a journey to adopt religion and follow the footsteps of those…