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The Story of Griselda

Love and Sacrifice
by

Loren Domer

on 3 September 2012

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Transcript of The Story of Griselda

The Story of Griselda Renaissance Period The fifteenth century marked the beginning of the Renaissance or "rebirth," a period when the oppression of the medieval ages was lifted. As the terror of the plague slowly passed, culture once again began to flourish. 1453 marked the fall of the Byzantine Empire, leading to a great migration of the scholars to Italy and the Netherlands. Thus Italy became home to many thinkers and artisans.

Italy was one of the first countries to exhibit signs of the Renaissance through intellectual thought, discoveries, and the new style of art.

It is an era of broad cultural achievement as a result of renewed interest in the classical art and ideas of Ancient Greece and Rome. The main idea of rebirth lies at the belief that through the study of the intellectual and artistic treasures of the Greco-Roman antiquity, inspired by Humanism, can be reached the artistic greatness, wisdom and enlightenment. Perspective drawing was discovered, incorporation the idea of the horizon line and vanishing point. LEGACY: II.Giovanni Boccaccio: Master of Italian Verse Before William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer, there was the man who both inspired and influenced much of their work: Giovanni Boccaccio. Boccaccio composed ground-breaking literary works during his lifetime that built the foundation for literature today. His poems and epics written in Italian and Latin became classics that would endure for hundreds of years and influence the path that literature would take in the years following his life.
Giovani Boccaccio was born in midsummer in 1313. There are discrepancies concerning the exact place of his birth, but most historians believe Boccaccio's birthplace was either Certaldo or Florence. Boccaccio was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Italian merchant, Boccaccino di Chellino, and was largely raised by his father. In 1348, the plague spread to Florence and claimed the lives of Boccaccio's father, step-mother, and many of his close friends. At this time, Florence and much of Europe was filled with agony over the tragedies caused by the plague, and Boccaccio found inspiration during this difficult time for one of his most famous works, Decameron.
This masterpiece transcended much of the literature of the time, combining levels of comedy and drama for a very realistic and touching effect. Decameron tells the story of ten individuals who fled the plague in Florence and traveled into the countryside. There, the group exchanged various stories from their lives to help pass the time. Decameron is said to be the primary influence for Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Giovanni Boccaccio's literary work was quite enlightened for his time. His portrayal of women was advanced compared to that of many other writers in that age. In Decameron, seven of the ten characters were women, and Boccaccio also wrote a series of biographies devoted entirely to women, Famous Women. These works paved the way for more enlightened portrayals of women in literature. His romantic prose would continue to inspire future writers for years to come. The profound influence of the work Boccaccio can be seen in many of the famous works composed in the centuries after his lifetime. DECAMERON The Decameron, also called Prince Galehaut (Italian: Il Decameron, cognominato Prencipe Galeotto) is a 14th-century medieval allegory by Giovanni Boccaccio. It is a collection of one hundred stories told by a group of men and women, who have taken refuge from the plague at a villa outside Florence. Boccaccio probably began composing the work in 1350, and finished it in 1351 or 1353. The bawdy tales of love in The Decameron range from the erotic to the tragic. Tales of wit, practical jokes, and life lessons contribute to the mosaic. The structure and style of the Decameron influenced many writers and had a profound effect on the development of European literature, which continues to this day. For example, the plot device of using the characters to tell stories as a way of unifying otherwise unconnected tales was adopted by notable writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales, as well as Marguerite de Navarre in the Heptameron. The plot and themes of many of Boccaccio's tales were also "borrowed" and reworked by Shakespeare in many of his plays. Many other lesser writers and works have also imitated the Decameron, but the Decameron has retained its appeal and remains widely read even today. The Decameron also had an impact on the development of the Italian nation and language. Boccaccio's use of the Florentine dialect of Italian created a common linguistic standard in the Italian Peninsula, which at the time was divided into separate and often warring city states, each with its own different dialect and pronunciation. The Decameron was the first work written in vernacular Italian which was popular throughout Italy and served to unite the people in a common culture. The plague is ravaging the city of Florence and people are dying in great numbers. All social order, customs, and traditions are undermined. Fear leads to a breakdown of social relations and to the neglect of both the living and the dying. Ten young people (seven ladies--Pampinea, Fiammetta, Filomena, Emilia, Lauretta, Neifile, and Elissa-- and three gentlemen--Panfilo, Filostrato, and Dioneo) flee from the city and seek refuge in a countryside estate where they pass the time telling stories and enjoying each other's company. They deliberately abstain from competitive games and choose instead forms of entertainment which give pleasure to everyone (music, dance, song, feasting, and storytelling). Each member of the group tells one story each day for ten days (hence the "decameron" or ten days). The Story of Griselda The nobleman Gualtieri marries Griselda, a peasant woman. At first he treats her well but then decides to test her obedience. He speaks to her abusively and takes away their two infant children, suggesting to her that they are to be killed (in reality, they are taken to Bologna and raised by friends). Griselda bears this with patience. He then expresses his wish to divorce Griselda and sends her back to her father's house. Pretending to be making arrangements for his new wedding, Gualtieri calls back Griselda and orders her to take care of all the preparations, including the welcoming of the new bride and her little brother. Putting up with it all, Griselda obeys and graciously receives the beautiful young woman. Gualtieri then reveals the truth and announces that the supposed bride and her brother are really their own children, now twelve and six years old. Griselda is congratulated on her heroic patience and obedience and welcomed back as the lady of the home. Tenth Day: Tenth Story Story Note: Griselda is one of the favorite figures of the Middle Ages; and that the tale of her sufferings was acceptable, sheds a strange light on those distant days. Boccaccio tells it anew with no suggestion of revolt against the intolerable brutality of the husband. He tells it adroitly, as was his custom; but his interest is wholly in his narrative. His characters are but outlined; and they exist for the sake of the story itself. The analysis of the feelings of the suffering heroine does not tempt him. He is satisfied to set forth the sequence of events, without entering into any explanation or discussion. The spiritual content of painting changed - subjects from Roman history and mythology were borrowed. Devotional art of Christian orientation became classically humanized. Classical artistic principles, including harmonious proportion, realistic expression, and rational postures were emulated. In Gothic art, figures generally have their faces towards the audience. This changed in the Eazrly Renaissance with Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi where many of the figures have their backs to the viewer. Proportions were on its way to accuracy, but as seen when comparing Dontatello's David with Michelangelo's David, the proportions of the Early Renaissance was not quite there. The perspective of some of the figures changed as well. Many discoveries were made pertaining to human anatomy as well.
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