Il Decameron

A Tale from the Decameron - John William Waterhouse

A Tale from the Decameron - John William Waterhouse

Il Decameron is a collection of allegorical tales by Giovanni Boccaccio. He is thought to have begun the work in 1350, and finished it in 1351 or 1353.

A collection of bawdy tales featuring noblemen and ladies, nuns and peasants. A 14th-century medieval allegory of 100 tales told by ten young people each telling ten tales each. They tell their tales over a period of ten days.

The setting is Italy at the time of the Black Death. A group of seven young women and three young men flee from plague-ridden Florence to a villa, where no one lives, in the countryside of Fiesole for two weeks. To pass the evenings, every member of the party tells a story each night for ten days, except for one day per week for chores, and the holy days in which they do no work at all. Thus, by the end of the fortnight they have told 100 stories.

One such tale is of nuns in a covent, pius nuns, each being serviced by their gardener.

The story telling is very much like the story telling we have in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, a series of bawdy tales told by pilgims on their way to Canterbury.

Il Decameron is also a an Italian film by Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, the first in a trilogy which he called Trilogy of life, the others being The Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights.

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