Giovanni Boccaccio’s Human Comedy

Judith Powers Serafini-Sauli writes in Giovanni Boccaccio, Twayne’s world Authors Series,

Boccaccio’s works embrace medieval and classical literature, prose and poetry, epic and lyric, Latin and Italian, popular and “high” culture. He revived the pastoral romance, attempted a modern epic, established the vernacular ottava as the epic stanza in Italian, and then, later in life, renewed the classical epistle and eclogue in Latin, wrote biography, helped revive the study of Greek, and began formal Dante criticism. … The culmination of Boccaccio’s literary experience is the Decameron, which becomes perforce the touchstone for any consideration of his works. In it he proposes narration for its own sake, and in advocating amusement as much as improvement, his point of view becomes earthbound. The Decameron is Boccaccio’s human comedy, “the luminous and fully human epic,” that stands next to Dante‘s Divine Comedy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *