De France and Decameron

The seven women and three men...

The seven women and three men…

1. Gualtieri does not use admirable fashion to test Griselda, but she is ultimately tested because Gualtieri does not believe that match making ever produces suitable companions and he does not want to spend his life miserably. Gualtieri states, “My friends, you are pressing me to do something that I had always set my mind firmly against, seeing how difficult it is to find a person who twill easily adapt to one’s own way of living, how many thousands there are who will do precisely the opposite, and what a miserable life is in store for the man who stumbles upon a woman ill-suited to his own temperament.” This is the mindset of satisfied man, who does not trust fate to bring him good tidings, in the form of a wife. Despite his opposition to marriage, Gualtieri takes a bride of his choosing and questions her about her devotion to him and knows that being brought up in a life unfilled with entitlement, that she may satisfy his need to remain unburdened by troublesome personality traits. The extent to which Griselda is tested is ridiculous and presented in the story to have a greater impact, but whether this is to show that temperament and patience are virtues or that the expectations of men are absurd, I am not sure…

2. The Decameron and The Thousand and One Nights (TON) are similar in the fact that both sets of stories are told with the purpose to pass time and save lives. They are both leisurely told through and provide lessons to be learned. The Decameron displays stories told to entertain a female audience primarily and to pass the time as the Black Plague rampages through Europe; while TON is written to provide insight for both sexes about relationships, trust and respect; although the stories within the stories are told to detour Sharaya’s wrath and save the lives of future brides to be. I believe the stories do fulfill the intended purpose. TON does teach one to see both sides of the coin in reference to fidelity, respect, and honor and eventually King Sharaya comes around forgiving women and learning to be a better ruler. In the Decameron, the reader is entertained, which is the primary purpose of the scripture and allows one to pass time. The relationship between the tale and the teller is extremely important in both cases. In TON, the stories will save Sharizads life, if she continues to entertain Sharaya and teach him forgiveness and understanding. In the Decameron, it was important for people to keep their sanity and being happy will generally keep one’s health in good order. With the time away from the plague and a joyous environment, the tellers are saving themselves through the stories they tell.

"Sing sweet nightengale..."

“Sing sweet nightingale…”

3. I believe the nightingale most importantly symbolized the delight in affection and love. In the story of “Laustic,” the lady in love with her neighboring knight states, “anyone who does not hear the song of the nightingale knows none of the joys of this world. This is why I come and stand here. So sweet is the song I hear by night that it brings me great pleasure. I take such delight in it and desire it so much that I can get no sleep at all.” This ultimate joy is brought to her by the knight, but is awarded to the song of the nightingale because she must cover this secret love they have. The joy makes her restless and wreckless in the decision to see the knight so openly and close to her husband. The song is beautiful like the love her and the knight share, which is destined to live by night. The knight later makes the golden coffin for the nightingale to show that he honors and cherishes this love, this nightingale, with all that he has and will carry it with him, until the day he dies.

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About Jared

Born and raised in AK and will once again live there one day. Currently serving in the US Navy and I enjoy the life I live. I am stationed in Sicily and loving the ability to travel during this period. I have a wife and a daughter on the way and couldn't imagine things going much better in life right now.