Religion In The Decameron

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Boccaccio also infused The Decameron with his opinions on the Catholic church, which even at that time was Italy’s primary religious institution. Catholicism may have been popular, but Boccaccio was very blatant in showing that he did not approve of the Church’s conduct. In The Decameron, religion was practiced by fools, the church was a breeding ground for mischief, and “marriage” was a transaction devoid of meaning.
Perhaps the most foolish characters readers could come across in The Decameron were Friar Alberto and Monna Lisetta. Boccaccio masterfully parodied the Church by introducing Friar Alberto as a former con man who moved to Venice and became a priest: already, Boccaccio has criticized the vetting process for potential religious officials. Monna Lisetta, the next character introduced, is a vain, airheaded devotee of the angel Gabriel. By having these silly characters meet in a religious setting, Boccaccio mocked the Catholics of his day, especially once Friar Alberto used his credibility as a “man of God” to trick the gullible Monna Lisetta into having sex with “Gabriel,” who would be possessing the friar’s own body. Boccaccio could hardly be more derisive toward the Church than with this “tragic” story.
But Friar Alberto and Monna Lisetta were not Boccaccio’s only example of mischief that had its roots in a church: the wife of Pietro di Vinciolo essentially asked a friend to arrange extramarital liaisons for her in exchange for a piece of jerky. According
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