The Black Death In The Decameron By Boccaccio

1459 words - 6 pages

The Black Death was an epidemic disease that was also known as the Bubonic Plague. It was one of the most tragic epidemics that has happened in the world. The Black Death hit England between the years of 1348-1350. This plague annihilated one third of its original population. Trading ships that came to England during this time were blamed for the spread of this disease. People believed that when trading ships left other countries that they would bring in infested rats that carried the disease. When the rats would come in contact with a person or bit a person is believed to be the reason on why the deadly virus spread so quickly. Also many thought that the plague was airborne; when they ...view middle of the document...

When painted in their armor and holding swords it showed their part in the noble class. They would also be shown to be in immaculate health and shown to be “perfect”. However, after the Black Death the paintings then turned for the worse. Paintings turned dark and no one painted to show realism anymore they painted to show peoples fear of death. They also showed that no one lives a perfect life and death is right around the corner. In the paintings, the people who were dressed elegantly were exchanged with skeletons with dilapidated clothing. “Paintings were overflowing with tortured souls, death, dying, fire and brimstone.” Before the Black Death the atmosphere of the paintings were very bright and optimistic. The happiness that filled the paintings before were replaced with images of Hell and Satan (The Effect the Black Death para. 3). The masks that doctors wore during this time period to save themselves from getting the disease when treating patients became an important visual art. In Behind the Mask: Plague Doctors they quoted:
The nose [is] half a foot long, shaped like a beak, filled with perfume with only two holes, one on each side near the nostrils, but that can suffice to breathe and carry along with the air one breathes the impression of the [herbs] enclosed further along in the beak. Under the coat we wear boots made in Moroccan leather (goat leather) from the front of the breeches in smooth skin that are attached to said boots, and a short sleeved blouse in smooth skin, the bottom of which is tucked into the breeches. The hat and gloves are also made of the same skin…with spectacles over the eyes (Behind the Mask )
This became very popular at the time because every started wearing them to protect themselves from getting the plague.
Boccaccio in his book, The Decameron stated:
I say, then, that in the year 1348 after the Son of God's fruitful incarnation, into the distinguished city of Florence, that most beautiful of Italian cities, there entered a deadly pestilence. Whether one believes that it came through the influence of the heavenly bodies or that God, justly angered by our iniquities, sent it for our correction, in any case it had begun several years earlier in the east and killed an innumerable mass of people, spreading steadily from place to place and growing as it moved west. (Burr David para 1)
The passage aforementioned illustrates that the Black Death affected the lives of authors during the spreading of the plague. People were more focused on the effects of the disease that it was their main focal point in what to write at the time period. Authors wanted to show people how they saw the Black Death and its effects on them. William Shakespeare was also another author that was affected by the plague. Since most of the people in Europe were dying because of the spread of the Black Death no one was able to perform the plays that Shakespeare wrote. Since no one was able to perform Shakespeare’s plays were not being seen,...

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