Plague of the Middle Ages Upon Boccaccio's Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

plague of the Middle Ages upon Boccaccio's literary masterpiece the Decameron

Boccaccio decided to write this novel as a means for women to distract themselves from their heart ache. It was clear that when it comes to men they have a lot of different outlets for their pain, which consist of: hawking, taking a walk, hunting, horseback riding, fishing, gambling, or joining to industry; all of which will reduce the pain that they are feeling. It is evident that Boccaccio's The Decameron is masterpiece that is set within the framework of a cluster of ten women and men who have been taken sanctuary from the plague in a country villa that is located outside the city of Florence for the past ten days. It is interesting to note that throughout these ten days, the group starts telling hundreds of stories that began revealing certain characteristics of the lifestyle during the fourteenth century. However, by using what is known as ironical story telling, the author starts taking on a non-judgmental point-of-view in revealing the astonishingly immoral features so as to permit the reader occasion for ethical meditation. The numerous tales of love in The Decameron array from the sexy to the tragic. Stories of practical jokes, wit, and life lessons donate to the mosaic. With that said, this essay will discuss the plagues impact, the separation and how it changed the population of Europe. However, there are also restrictions such as the plague having devastating effects on the peasant uprising, and the separation of those suffering from the plague from society plus how the plague was able to change the population of Europe's lifestyles.

The first restriction was the plague had devastating effects on the peasant uprising. It was obvious that fear was one of the things that caused the peasants to uprise. When it came to the uprising, the peasants were scared out of their mind so it made sense that fear would be one of the main. It is clear that the plague had a very large scale social and economic effects that pushed the peasants to an uprising. A lot of this is recorded in the introduction of the Decameron. The revolt took placed because of the Statute of Labourers 1351. At the end of the Black Death, this was a law passed to stop the peasants from being able to take advantage of the shortage of workers and trying to demand more money. Peasants were then forced to work for the same salaries as before, and property-owners could maintain on labour services being performed, in place of accommodating money (commutation). Basically, this meant that the landowners would be able to profit from shortages, at the same time as life was made very much harder for the peasants. When the uprising took place, people were so in panic that they started abandoning their family and friends, fleeing cities, and then just to be even safer, shutting themselves off from the entire world. During the uprising, funeral rites became routine or stopped overall, and work stopped being done. Many of the peasants were feeling like the wrath of God was plunging upon man, and so scrapped the plague with prayer. During the uprising, some of the peasants really stated to feel as though that they should obey the proverb, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you may die." The Decameron even mention the following: "Laws, both human and the divine were abandoned. Everyone was free to do what they wanted. There were still others who took the middle road. Neither restricting themselves food and drink nor eating and...
...They walked about smelling the flowers without a care." (Boccaccio) The public even started to experience an upheaval to an extent typically simply seen in controlled circumstances for instance carnival. Faith in religion appeared to have gone down right after the plague and during the uprising of the peasants. The uprising had a huge effect on the way people viewed God both for the reason that of the death of so many of the clergy and also for the reason that of the letdown of prayer to stop sickness and death. As mentioned earlier. Laws, both human and the divine were out of control and people eventually did not listen either. In the Decameron, it appeared that everyone was free to do whatever they wanted to do which caused some of the uprising. However, there were still others who decided to take the middle road. With that said, fear was the motivator behind the uprisings and it caused a swarm of people to do things that they would not normally do.

The second restriction is the there was a separation of those suffering from the plague from society. The Decameron talked about the separation of infected people so as to stop the spread of disease which was practiced and it was acknowledged as the quarantine. Quarantine "is a word that is utilized in separating and restricting the movement of well individuals who may have been exposed to an infectious disease to see if they will turn out to be ill. Some people that were trying to get away from everything actually believed that if they evaded excess, they would be spared from getting the disease. They actually lived together apart from everyone else that was either in the city or just living around them. No one was allowed to speak or listen to anything regarding the sick. They entertained themselves with music. Others people really believed that extra were the answer. Singing, heavy drinking, and pleasing every impulse was the way to ward off the illness. They always did many things they could when it came down to avoiding the sick. The wind spread the epidemic to the surrounding villages and towns, wiping out the all of the residents. At the Santa Maria Novella, one Tuesday morning, there were merely seven ladies there that were able to hear the services. Everyone one else was isolating themselves from society with fear of getting the disease. However, at the Santa Maria Novella the women were fully dressed wearing their mourning clothes. Most of them between the ages of 18 and 28. They were all brainy, attractive, and noble by birth.

The third restriction was that the plague changed the population of Europe's lifestyles. Lifestyle for many had changed in so many drastic ways. For example, as the plague started to go on The Decameron made the point that the economy experienced sudden and even extreme inflation. Because it was so hard (and dangerous) to be able to procure goods by means of trade and to produce them, the prices of both goods produced locally and those imported from afar hit the roof. Because of disease and death workers became exceptionally rare, so even peasants were feeling the effects of the new rise in most of the wages. In the Decameron, the demand for people to start working the land was so high that it began threatening the manorial properties. It was clear that the Serfs were no longer tied to just one master; if serf decided to leave the land, another lord would hire them very quickly. The lords had to make some changes so as to make the circumstances more moneymaking for the peasants in order to keep them on their land. On the whole, salaries outpaced prices and the standard of living was successively elevated. As a consequence of the beginning of blurring financial distinctions, social distinctions sharpened. The fashions of the nobility became more extravagant in order to emphasize the social standing of the person that is wearing the attire. The peasants developed into slightly more empowered people, and then started to revolt when the nobility endeavored to struggle against the changes that came on the scene from the plague. In the Decameron, the lifestyle was changing rapidly. An unheeded of practice started to spread through the city because of the plague; women did not care about having servants that were men. They did not even feel any kind of shame about being naked around them. This could have probably been the reason why after the plague women had morals that were much looser. Lifestyle in the city had changed because everything started to look different. For example, in the Decameron, it mentioned that the cities were full of corpses. However, even in death, the rich were still treating differently from the poor when they died. For instance, the book makes it clear that the bodies of the dead poor would be put at the curb in front of their house and then taken with other bodies to be buried with extremely little ritual. Often times these individuals would die all by themselves with nobody else to help them. Also, their death would only be exposed when the disgusting odor of their dead bodies started reaching their neighbor's household. Those of the rich were still giving lavishing burials. Also, when the churches started running…

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