Was Boccaccio Better Suited as a Historian or a Story-teller?

I don’t particularly enjoy the study of medieval literature, but there are elements I prefer. I enjoy reading parts with suspense, mystery, and adventure, and I get frustrated with foolish characters or predictable plots. Medieval literature in general, seems to me to be low-quality. Theological documents may not have poor writing, but I also tend to disagree with a lot of Catholic opinions.

Giovani Boccaccio wrote the Decameron, a collection of 100 stories within one overall story. The book opens with an introduction to the Black Plague, the content of the first chapter. In fact, this section is one of the most important source documents for the history of the Black Plague. Bocaccio described the plague in chillingly real terms – the death and isolation caused waves of change that would ripple on for years. In his writing, Boccaccio is passionate, descriptive, and specific. As a historical document, it is anything but boring to read.

The second part of the book contains stories that Boccaccio made up or copied down. Boccaccio’s plot involved ten young people telling a story each for two days. The stories that the characters told were honestly, not interesting to me at all. Some could have been made into a thrilling novel, but Boccaccio obviously did not have that talent of grabbing the reader’s attention when making up stories. Sticking to dramatizing history would have been a better pursuit for him.

However, in his stories, Boccaccio was continually seeking to emphasize one point – that the church was insufficient, incompetent, and hypocritical. I think that, to him, getting his point across was more important than trying to make his writing good, lovely, pure, cohesive, interesting, thought-provoking, and deep. He focused more on the concepts of chance and fortune, airy-fairy plots, unrealistic choices, and, in general, he did not spend long enough on the individual events of a story or dramatize them at all.

In conclusion, I believe that Boccaccio wrote in a clearer, more interesting, and more dramatic fashion when he wrote on actual events.



7 thoughts on “Was Boccaccio Better Suited as a Historian or a Story-teller?

  1. Jesus Girl

    Hi! So I was just curious as to what parts of Catholicism in particular that you disagree with. As someone who is very interested in theology and am wanting to become one I am just curious to see whether or not it is stuff that I do/ used to disagree with. And if they aren’t I would like to research them. Anyway, have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • makaylajesalyn

      Totally! So, I could honestly go on and on … Catholic doctrine states that infant baptism is acceptable, that the Pope is the ultimate religious authority under Christ, that Mary still is a virgin, that praying to Mary and other saints is acceptable, and so on. I disagree with these things because there is no scriptural prerogative to believe any of them. (I believe that any religious authority needs to be in line with Jesus and His Word, which is the entire Bible. There is no scriptural prerogative for us to believe that a Pope is in authority to us, or that he has the power to change God’s Law.) Another example comes from the Catholic catechism, where it says that the sabbath was changed from Saturday (the 7th day of the week) to Sunday (the 1st day of the week), because THE CHURCH decreed it.
      (I’ve pasted a section from “The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine by: Peter Geiermann, C. SS. R. (published by: B. Herder Book Co. -1946)”

      Question. Which is the Sabbath Day?

      Answer. Saturday is the Sabbath Day.

      Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

      A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.

      Q. Why did the Catholic Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?

      A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday, because Christ rose from the dead on a Sunday, and the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles on a Sunday.

      Q. By what authority did the Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?

      A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her.

      I don’t believe Christ gave law-making authority to the Pope, the Catholic church, or any other church denomination. Nowhere in the Bible is this authority given to anyone but God himself. In addition, many of the the statutes of the Catholic Church go against the command not to add to or take away from the Law of God. By CHANGING the day of the sabbath, the catholic church attempted to CHANGE the Law of God. This is disobedience to God.

      (so yeah … there’s a few of the things I disagree with 😊) And thank you! I did have a pretty great day! 😂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Jesus Girl

    Alright thanks for taking the time to answer and for going to the catechism instead of just going off of what a pastor said and stuff. I’ve heard objections to infant baptism, Mary being a virgin and praying to her and stuff(as I used to disagree with most of them and looked into them myself) but I haven’t heard about the Sabbath day thing so I will be sure to look I to that! And if you don’t mind me asking, have you ever talked with a knowledgeable catholic to learn more about the reasoning behind this stuff? Im just asking because I really don’t like it when people make their own assumptions about things like these(not saying that you are).

    Liked by 1 person

    • makaylajesalyn

      I’m so glad you’ll look into it! I also like it when people study up before forming an opinion! 👍😄
      I admit that I haven’t spoken very often to a Catholic on these matters. I know its almost impossible to get a definite answer on some of their beliefs, because Catholic beliefs and explanations are so varied – I am, however, learning about the Catholic faith in my history class and reading Catholic literature in my English class, so I’m beginning to get a good grasp of the roots and principles of Catholicism. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jesus Girl

        I’m really glad! Whether you agree with it or not, learning about church history and theology in general is very interesting. And I understand abt not talking to a whole bunch of Catholics. Especially, if you don’t have a lot of those influences in ur life. I have them and they were very knowledgeable and taught me a lot. Anyway, I cannot wait until I can learn more abt It!

        Liked by 1 person

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