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Boccaccio, Giovanni

  • By: Charmaine Lee
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375; born in Certaldo or Florence, died in Certaldo) is one of the major Italian writers of the later Middle Ages. He is best remembered for his collection of tales, the Decameron. This entry gives a brief overview of his life and work and discusses the way in which humor functions in the tales.

Life and Works

Boccaccio wrote both in Italian and Latin during a period that saw the dawn of humanism, which emphasized the dignity and worth of the individual and the study of classical culture. He probably would have preferred to be remembered for his Latin works, but he is better known for his Italian works and for the Decameron in particular. Though from Florence, Boccaccio's “literary” training took place mainly in ...

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