The life and works of giovanni boccaccio

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The life and works of giovanni boccaccio

Boccaccio was the son of a Tuscan merchant, Boccaccio di Chellino called Boccaccinoand a mother who was probably French. He passed his early childhood rather unhappily in Florence. In this milieu Boccaccio experienced the aristocracy of the commercial world as well as all that survived of the splendours of courtly chivalry and feudalism.

He also studied canon law and mixed with the learned men of the court and the friends and admirers of Petrarch, through whom he came to know the work of Petrarch himself. It was probably in that Boccaccio was recalled to Florence by his father, involved in the bankruptcy of the Bardi.

The sheltered period of his life thus came to an end, and thenceforward there were to be only difficulties and occasional periods of poverty.

From Naples, however, the young Boccaccio brought with him a store of literary work already completed. Much more important are two works with themes derived from medieval romances: The Teseida probably begun in Naples and finished in Florence, —41 is an ambitious epic of 12 cantos in ottava rima in which the wars of Theseus serve as a background for the love of two friends, Arcita and Palemone, for the same woman, Emilia; Arcita finally wins her in a tournament but dies immediately.

While the themes of chivalry and love in these works had long been familiar in courtly circles, Boccaccio enriched them with the fruits of his own acute observation of real life and sought to present them nobly and illustriously by a display of learning and rhetorical ornament, so as to make his Italian worthy of comparison with the monuments of Latin literature.

It was Boccaccio, too, who raised to literary dignity ottava rima, the verse metre of the popular minstrels, which was eventually to become the characteristic vehicle for Italian verse.

Boccaccio, meanwhile, was trying continually to put his financial affairs in order, though he never succeeded in doing so. Little is known, however, of the detail of his life in the period following his return to Florence. It was probably in the years —53 that Boccaccio composed the Decameron in the form in which it is read today.

In the broad sweep of its range and its alternately tragic and comic views of life, it is rightly regarded as his masterpiece.

Stylistically, it is the most perfect example of Italian classical prose, and its influence on Renaissance literature throughout Europe was enormous. The Decameron begins with the flight of 10 young people 7 women and 3 men from plague-stricken Florence in They retire to a rich, well-watered countryside, where, in the course of a fortnight, each member of the party has a turn as king or queen over the others, deciding in detail how their day shall be spent and directing their leisurely walks, their outdoor conversations, their dances and songs, and, above all, their alternate storytelling.

In addition to the stories, Boccaccio has a master theme, namely, the way of life of the refined bourgeoisiewho combined respect for conventions with an open-minded attitude to personal behaviour. The sombre tones of the opening passages of the book, in which the plague and the moral and social chaos that accompanies it are described in the grand manner, are in sharp contrast to the scintillating liveliness of Day I, which is spent almost entirely in witty disputation, and to the playful atmosphere of intrigue that characterizes the tales of adventure or deception related on Days II and III.

With Day IV and its stories of unhappy love, the gloomy note returns; but Day V brings some relief, though it does not entirely dissipate the echo of solemnity, by giving happy endings to stories of love that does not at first run smoothly. Finally, in Day X, all the themes of the preceding days are brought to a high pitch, the impure made pure and the common made heroic.

The life and works of giovanni boccaccio

The prefaces to the days and to the individual stories and certain passages of especial magnificence based on classical models, with their select vocabulary and elaborate periods, have long held the attention of critics. But there is also another Boccaccio: These two aspects of the Decameron made it the fountainhead of Italian literary prose for the following centuries.

This view is no longer tenable, however, since the Middle Ages can no longer be presented as having been wholly ascetic or wholly concerned with God and heavenly salvation in contrast with a Renaissance concerned only with the human.

The life and works of giovanni boccaccio

It is the spirit in which Boccaccio treats his subjects and his forms that is new. For the first time in the Middle Ages, Boccaccio in the Decameron deliberately shows man striving with fortune and learning to overcome it.

To be truly noble, according to the Decameron, man must accept life as it is, without bitterness, must accept, above all, the consequences of his own action, however contrary to his expectation or even tragic they may be.

To realize his own earthly happiness, he must confine his desire to what is humanly possible and renounce the absolute without regret.

During the years in which Boccaccio is believed to have written the Decameron, the Florentines appointed him ambassador to the lords of Romagna in ; municipal councillor and also ambassador to Louis, duke of Bavaria, in the Tirol in ; and ambassador to Pope Innocent VI in Boccaccio revered the older man as his master, and Petrarch proved himself a serene and ready counselor and a reliable helper.

Together, through the exchange of books, news, and ideas, the two men laid the foundations for the humanist reconquest of classical antiquity. After the Decameron, of which Petrarch remained in ignorance until the very last years of his life, Boccaccio wrote nothing in Italian except Il Corbaccio —55; a satire on a widow who had jilted himhis late writings on Dante, and perhaps an occasional lyric.

Turning instead to Latin, he devoted himself to humanist scholarship rather than to imaginative or poetic creation. His Bucolicum carmen —66a series of allegorical eclogues short pastoral poems on contemporary events, follows classical models on lines already indicated by Dante and Petrarch.

A premature weakening of his physical powers and disappointments in love may also have contributed to it. Some such occurrence would explain how Boccaccio, having previously written always in praise of women and love, came suddenly to write the bitterly misogynistic Corbaccio and then turn his genius elsewhere.

Furthermore, there are signs that he may have begun to feel religious scruples. Petrarch describes how the Carthusian monk Pietro Petrone, on his deathbed insent another Carthusian, Gioacchino Ciani, to exhort Boccaccio to renounce his worldly studies; and it was Petrarch who then dissuaded Boccaccio from burning his own works and selling his library.

He had taken minor orders many years earlier, perhaps at first only in the hope of being given benefices. Even so, he did not neglect Italian poetryhis enthusiasm for his immediate predecessors, especially Dante, being one of the characteristics that distinguish him from Petrarch.

All these studies were pursued in poverty, sometimes almost in destitution, and Boccaccio had to earn most of his income by transcribing his own works or those of others.

In poverty compelled him to retire to the village of Certaldo.Introduction. Giovanni Boccaccio (b. –d. ), along with the two other great Florentine writers, Dante Alighieri and Francesco Petrarch, is one of the Three Crowns of Italian literature.

Boccaccio '70 () - IMDb

GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO. Boccaccio’s father, a wealthy bank merchant from Certaldo and a man of some prominence in Florence, had gone into business in Paris although he soon abandoned Boccaccio’s mother and returned to Florence where he sent Boccaccio to school until he was ten and then took him into business.

Giacomo Leopardi, (born June 29, , Recanati, Papal States—died June 14, , Naples), Italian poet, scholar, and philosopher whose outstanding scholarly and philosophical works and superb lyric poetry place him among the great writers of the 19th century.

Lack of money forced him to live at.

The Decameron (Italian title: "Decameron" [deˈkaːmeron; dekameˈrɔn; dekameˈron] or "Decamerone" [dekameˈroːne]), subtitled "Prince Galehaut" (Old Italian: Prencipe Galeotto [ˈprentʃipe ɡaleˈɔtto; ˈprɛntʃipe] and sometimes nicknamed "Umana commedia", "Human comedy"), is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio .

+ free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. About Geoffrey Chaucer: Geoffrey Chaucer, an English poet, was born in Historians are uncertain about his exact date of birth.

Geoffrey's well-to-do parents, John Chaucer and Agnes Copton, possessed several buildings in the vintage quarter in London.

The Decameron - Wikipedia