Coming Together: Consolation and the Rhetoric of Insinuation in Boccaccio’s Decameron

  • Stephen J. Milner
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


This chapter examines how Boccaccio in the Proemio and Conclusione of the Decameron subverts the normative medieval discourses of consolation as found within the Italian vernacular traditions of the Consolation of Philosophy and the ars dictaminis to serve a wholly different and erotically charged function. By exploiting the mediating function of written texts, Boccaccio-narrator seeks to console by imagining a transition from being in touch literally to literally being in touch. In the process he parodies Boethius’ and Dante’s journeys of meditative ascent, offering in their place the fantasy of a pedestrian journey that climaxes in an erotic “rendezvous.”


Metaphorical Language Realist Fiction Female Readership Subtle Approach Rhetorical Tradition 
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Copyright information

© Catherine E. Léglu and Stephen J. Milner 2008

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  • Stephen J. Milner

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