Analysis of the Excerpt from "The Decameron"

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is majorly about the manner in which calamities contributes to disintegration among the society members. Notably, through the excerpt, it is evident that a majority of residents of Florence opted to leave their neighbors, friends or relatives unattended because they feared that they would contract the strange illness (Black Plague) that had struck the city. Furthermore, the presence of a unique infection in Florence considerably contributed to the loss of lives, hence, an implication that a majority of residents of the village lose their families due to negligence. ‘The Decameron’ excerpt also shows that individuals in the low-income category are the primary victims if tragedies occur. For instance, the excerpt depicts that the poor cannot get out of their houses and, hence, dies without anybody's notice apart from the stench that comes from their houses as their bodies begin to decay.

Boccaccio describes the reaction of citizens of Florence as full of depression because a majority of the residents felt sad concerning the predicament that had befallen them. The increased rates of demise among the citizens' relatives and friends or neighbors considerably reduced their emotional welfare since they were losing people who were important to them. Also, the residents of Florence were helpless as they could not initiate any strategies that could help them curb the Black Disease which was avenging the village. Furthermore, the depression and helplessness among residents of Florence are evident in Boccaccio's claims that the former could afford to bury their dead relatives. The ravaging effects of the plague immensely deteriorated the welfare of residents of Florence as evident in the case where Boccaccio argues that they died in thousands and their bodies piled everywhere.

Question 2

Through an examination of an excerpt from ‘The Decameron,’ it is evident that the author is biased against the residents of Florence who he accuses of failing to show love towards their relatives or friends. For instance, a majority of residents of the city above resorted to abandoning their kin due to fear that they could contract the deadly infection thereby instead of initiating strategies to help curb the plague. Furthermore, Boccaccio associates the rise of the fatal disease to an inability of the citizens of Florence to initiate proper strategies for managing the predicament that had befallen them. The biasness that Boccaccio exhibit against the residents of Florence influenced him to use words that depict the latter as an uninformed group that could not properly describe the nature of infection that was killing them.

One of the factors that influenced Boccaccio to describe the effects of the Black Death on Florence entails the need to inform the society concerning the necessity of formulating effective plans for handling catastrophes such as strange illnesses. From the descriptions that the author above offers, it is evident that residents of Florence did not have any mitigation plans to curb the occurrence of tragedies, hence, their death in thousands. Also, the social stratification in Florence immensely influenced Boccaccio's decision to describe impacts which the Black Death had on residents of the city above. In Florence, socio-economic statuses of individuals immensely contributed to their ability to come to the public as in the case where a majority of the poor people resorted to staying in their houses hoping that it was the most appropriate strategy for avoiding the Black Death.

Question 3

Boccaccio wrote ‘The Decameron’ after the town of Florence had been ravaged by the disastrous Black Plague which occurred in 1937. At the time of writing of the article above, Boccaccio was residing in the city of Florence, and he had the intention of recounting events as they transpired to help provide the readers with vital information regarding effects of the plague. Boccaccio argues that he was an eye-witness when the Black Plague was killing a majority of residents of Florence. Also, through the narrations, the author above asserts that the epidemic led to the death of some of his relatives, hence, an implication that he was also a victim of the problem. Therefore, an analysis of ‘The Decameron’ indicates that it is a literary material which emanated from influences that Boccaccio received from the Black Plague that had contributed to the demise of a majority of Italians.

At the time of the Black Death, various activities were also going on in Florence and considerably contributed to the further deterioration of the city's conditions. One of the major events which coincided with the epidemic above was the occupation of Florence by powerful merchants who had intentions of gaining control over the city and its residents. The invasion of Florence by influential businesspeople significantly contributed to political and economic instability because a majority of the town's residents were not ready to accept traders' involvement in the region's activities. Apart from the influence of merchants in Florence, the spread of intellectual culture was prevalent in the cities of Naples and Bologna. The spread of intellectual culture was due to the presence of universities which created opportunities for people to acquire critical knowledge on various sectors, thus, contributing to a change in perceptions that individuals exhibited concerning critical issues such as governance and economic practices. Therefore, the Black Plague and other events that transpired in Italy's history created a proper opportunity for change which the region experienced later.

Question 4

Intended audiences for ‘The Decameron’ include the merchants and nobility who were the major contributors to the manner in which Florence operated. The traders considerably contributed to the economic activities that occurred in the city above, and, hence, Boccaccio intended to use the article above to sensitize businesspeople concerning ethics and the necessity for engaging in activities which cannot adversely affect the society's economic progress. On the other hand, the nobility is part of Boccaccio's audience because they are the individuals who formulate policies that govern society members and it is their responsibility to ensure proper governance. Furthermore, nobility is the suitable audience for Boccaccio's material because it is their mandate to formulate strategies that can help curb adverse effects of calamities.

Question 5

The storyline in ‘The Decameron’ has a significant relationship with issues such as governance and social stratification in society. In the book above, it is evident that the residents of Florence faced various challenges due to the unfavorable policies that the nobility had formulated. Also, ‘Decameron’ provides a narration which depicts the social stratification in the society and the manner in which socio-economic statuses of individuals influence their welfare. The grouping of community members concerning their socio-economic statuses plays a pivotal role development of feuds among citizens. ‘The Decameron’ immensely contributes to our comprehension of history by providing insights concerning the origin of a renaissance in Italy and Europe in its entirety.

November 13, 2023



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