The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Anticlerical Satire

Anticlerical satire uses humor, irony, and exaggeration to critique the Roman Catholic Church and its clergy. Medieval anticlerical satire aimed at the hypocrisy of the religious, especially after the church became incredibly wealthy and politically… read analysis of Anticlerical Satire

Antifeminism/Misogyny

Misogyny is a dislike or prejudice against women, while antifeminism represents opinions that are opposed to a belief in women’s political, sexual, and economic equality with men. While neither word was in use in the… read analysis of Antifeminism/Misogyny

Bourgeoisie

The word “bourgeoisie” means “middle class.” The term itself comes from medieval France where it was used from the 11th century on to describe people who were enriching themselves as the urban centers (“bourgs”) were… read analysis of Bourgeoisie

Brigata

Giovanni Boccaccio identifies the group of seven young women and three men who tell The Decameron’s tales as the lieta brigata, or “the happy band.” Once they have left their plague-ravaged city behind… read analysis of Brigata

Crusades

The Crusades were a series of religiously-inspired wars conducted by European Christian powers during the Middle Ages. The early crusades were aimed against Muslim powers in the eastern Mediterranean with the hope of wresting Jerusalem… read analysis of Crusades
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Cuckold

Cuckold is an antiquated term for a man whose wife is unfaithful; it is also used as a verb to indicate the act of an unfaithful wife cheating on her husband. In the medieval imagination… read analysis of Cuckold

Dowry

A dowry is made up of the money and property a woman brought into her marriage. It was paid by her family and was sometimes considered a gift or “bride-price” to the groom and his… read analysis of Dowry

Fabliaux

Fabliaux are funny short stories composed primarily in France in the 12th and 13th centuries, often anonymously. Frequently obscene, they are characterized by a focus on sex and scatological (relating to excrement) themes. They feature… read analysis of Fabliaux

Fin’amors

Fin’amors is a refined, stylized expression of romantic love that was popular in medieval literature and culture. It is sometimes called “courtly love.” Early expressions of fin’amors arise in the poetry of the Southern French… read analysis of Fin’amors

Moneylending/Usury

Moneylending is the practice of offering loans to an individual, which must be repaid with interest; in the Middle Ages it was often called by an older name, “usury,” which came to imply the charging… read analysis of Moneylending/Usury