Literature I: Term Paper

“Are Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales Closer in Outlook to Roman and Greek Literature than to Hebrew, New Testament and Medieval Literature?”*

Both the Decameron and the Canterbury Tales are, I believe, closer in outlook regarding the sovereignty and authority of God to the Hebrew, New Testament and Medieval literature because of the prevailing belief that God is sovereign over all of creation, including Man. Whereas in Roman and Greek literature, because it has a polytheistic view and because of its portrayal of the gods as more humanistic, the belief of Man as creators of history and as decision makers, reduces the sovereignty of the gods slightly. However in the view that Zeus, or Jupiter, is sovereign over the gods, as the Christian God is over Man, the outlook is the same.

Regarding succession, or future, and sanctions the Decameron and Canterbury Tales have an extremely different outlook than that of the Hebrew, New Testament and Medieval Literature. The Decameron and Canterbury Tales suggest less faith in the future and a belief that the sanctions that fall upon humanity depend wholly on Man’s decisions and reasoning, which is virtually the same outlook as the Greek and Roman Literature.

In the subject of Law, God’s or Man’s, the two Renaissance era works are not close in outlook to another type of literature. But I would say that the Canterbury Tales would, perhaps, share a closer opinion with the Christian and Ancient literature than the Decameron would. This is because Boccaccio’s work is focused on the Black Death, which was a time of great loss of faith and hope in the future and in God’s Law. But even Man’s law fell into disuse during that period of devastation.

Neither of the two works, Canterbury Tales by Chaucer and the Decameron by Boccaccio, share the same views with any other work regarding all of the five principles.

*The assessment of this literature is based upon these five principles: sovereignty, authority, law, sanctions and future

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