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1265-1321. Born into a family of modest means in Florence, 1265
Mother died when he was young, father when he was 18
Solid Latin education but also read French poetry
1285 married Gemma Donati with whom he had 3 sons(John, Peter, James) and a daughter (Antonia)
In 72/73, he caught sight of Beatrice and fell in love with her. Her death in 1290 unlocked Dante's poetic muse. Turbulent political life with battles between Guelfs and Ghibellines. He entered public office in 1295, exiled in 02, lived until 21 as an exile, last years in Ravenna.
Dante wrote 2 works—The Banquet and On the Eloquence of the Vernacular which sough to establish the legitimacy of Italian as a literary language (and his own authority as a poet)
Also wrote On Monarchy to defend the moral authority of the Empire and to confine the pope to the spiritual realm.

· Dante born into a family of modest means in Florence in 1265

· Mother died when he was young; father when he was 18

· We don't know too much about his education

· Solid Latin education but also read French poetry

· 1285 married Gemma Donati with whom he had three sons (John, Peter, James: the three disciples at the transfiguration) and a daughter (Antonia)

· In 1273 Dante caught sight of Beatrice and fell in love with her

o Her death in 1290 unlocked Dante's poetic muse

· Dante's lifetime turbulent politically with battles between Geulfs and Ghibellines

· Dante entered public office in 1295, was exiled in 1302, and lived until 1321 as an exile, the last years in Ravenna

● other popular works are The Banquet and On the Eloquence of the Vernacular as well as On Monarcy
● Probably born in 1343; died 1400

● Lived comfortably (the black death brought his family lots of land in London)

● Scholars are uncertain when it comes to his education

○ However, he had a solid grasp of Latin and was enormously learned

○ Probably picked up his many languages through the merchants who came to London

○ Was a page in the house of Elizabeth, attached himself to the court which proved to be

● Married Phillipa (in 1366) and had two sons

● Translated Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy (1386) which influenced his reflection of morality

○ Shows how he could maneuver the elegant and difficult Latin with some ease, though it

● Greatly influenced by French culture, which was dominant in his youth.

○ Romance of the Rose (most famous of medieval Romances)

● Greatly influenced by Italian Triumvirate (Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio), especially the latter two.

● War, plague, famine = constant backdrop of his life (Renaissance figure)

● Unlike Boccaccio, Chaucer reveals very little about himself

○ Social position hard to discern

○ Critical of church and clergy, but not irreligious--is this a program of his beliefs or is it

○ "Every woman's friend"--had the most interesting female figures--does he admire them

● Nicknamed the Father of English Literature (pretty lofty title)from all parts of the world a valuable learning experience and an entry into society is not clear where he learned Latin in the first place.

■ Chaucer shows appreciation for French literature just telling stories or no consistent message?

● Nicknamed the Father of English Literature (pretty lofty title)
● Introduction
● Similarities
○ Basic Plot/Formula
■ An Italian marquis marries the poor Griselde
■ Puts her through a series of horrible ordeals
■ Then finally takes it all back and they live happily ever after
■ Griselde maintains her fidelity and obedience throughout the entire work - revealing her patience and virtue
■ In both, condemnation of Marquis' actions against wife (though Chaucer's more than Boccacio's; more on that later)
■ Both told by male narrators: Dioneo in The Decameron, the Clerk in The Canterbury Tales
● Differences
○ I read something about Griselda's story being a sort of joke to the institution of marriage in Boccaccio's, whereas Griselda's story in Chaucer is to be taken more seriously. But this is all I know...SOMEONE HELP!!! okay
○ Difference in Presentation
■ Boccacio's tale is shorter, about 6 pages in prose
■ Chaucer's tale is longer, around 30 pages of verse
■ Boccacio's tale has no authorial intrusions; the tale is provided through the frame of Dioneo, but Dioneo never interjects in the story (arguably, the final paragraph is out of narrative, spoken in Dioneo's voice)
■ Chaucer's tale features intrusions, both by the character of the Clerk during the telling of the tale and by Chaucer himself in an Epilogue to the tale
○ Difference in Intent
■ The ultimate message of Boccaccio's tale is muddy
● At the end, author commentary on how divine favor can be visited on people in the lowliest of stations, just as high-ranking members of society can at the same time be unfit to rule or undeserving of their status
● Despite the tacit condemnation of the Marquis' actions in the tale, little is said on the abuse the man places upon his wife
● Potential to take away message that the most prized women are totally submissive to their husbands; alternatively, admire the patience shown by Griselde, who should serve as a model in trying times
■ The ultimate message of Chaucer's tale is clearer
● As evidenced by frequent intrusions, the narrator (the Clerk, and potentially Chaucer) condemns the actions of the Marquis the actions against Griselde are labeled as improper and barbaric, unfit treatment for a wife
○ The end more strongly emphasizes the virtue of patience, as shown by Griselde, rather than emphasizing how good fortune can fall on low people, the fairness and unfairness of life
● Chaucer's Epilogue is explicit in how it derides Griselda's submissiveness to her husband, instead encouraging women to stand up to their husbands, and to use their strongest qualities to guard themselves and enforce their will

● Conclusion
Chaucer:
● Upholds
○ Reeve's tale- Simkin's (Miller) wife and daughter are treated more as property than as human beings- them having sexual intercourse (seems kind of rapey to me, tbh) was seen as insult to Miller, not their human dignity
○ The knight goes first in telling his tale - storytelling order at first outwardly conforming to social hierarchy
● Subverts
○ Wife of Bath subverts traditional expectations of marriage and utilizes religious logic to do so (why are sex organs pleasurable, Jacob had more than one wife, etc)
○ Miller insists on following the knight's tale instead of letting the monk go next
○ Criticizes members of the clergy like the Monk and the Friar
Dante:
● Upholds
○ Strict justice for "sins" including homosexuality, which many today would argue is not a sin. Dante loses sympathy as Inferno goes on = very strict sense of justice in the Inferno
○ HELP guys please
● Subverts
○ Popes Boniface VIII, Clement V, and Nicholas III are all denounced as simoniacs in the eighth circle
○ Pity seen for Francesca and Paolo in the second circle of hell despite them technically being adulterers
Boccaccio
● Upholds
○ Women are weaker and need men's guidance- seven young women in the Decameron want male guidance/leadership
○ Griselda more upheld as a role model for women in marriage than she was in Chaucer's version
● Subverts
○ Abraham the Jew who converts to Christianity after seeing how corrupt the Roman Catholic Church is and figuring it must be divinely blessed if the religion is still spreading
○ Tancred & Ghismonda- Ghismonda takes a lover, usually seen as a more male thing, and she isn't demonized for it
○ Cepparello/Ciapelletto completely lies to the (gullible) friar, townspeople make him a saint