She carefully chooses to only water the plant with her tears. It also played a significant role in burial rituals and in Sicilian folklore. di basilico (in a pot of basil). This scene gains deeper meaning when compared to the portrayal of events in the Proem: "non bastando la terra sacra alle sepolture... si facevano per gli cimiterii delle chiese, poi che ogni parte era piena, fosse grandissime nelle quali a centinaia si mettevano i sopravegnenti... con poca terra si ricoprieno." The group escapes from death's catastrophic effects in the urban center to the comfort of their country estates, even as Pampinea recognizes that the workers in the fields are dying along with their urban counterparts. This can also be looked at in reference to Lisabetta's story, when she tries to soothe herself by crying over Lorenzo’s pot because she is sad and depressed over his death. Testo As opposed to the Florentines who showed little love for their dead and dying during the plague, Lisabetta instead demonstrated an unabated affection for her lover in caring for Lorenzo's remains, however gruesome. vaso di terracotta The emphasis on Lorenzo's decomposition and decay, mentioned three times, recalls elements of the plague as described by Boccaccio in the introduction. She therefore decides to cut off his head and put it in a pot with basil planted on top. Discovered in the act of love by Lisabetta's brother, Lorenzo is taken outside the city, killed, and buried in an unmarked grave. The basil that Lisabetta plants on top of Lorenzo’s head can also be viewed as a tool to ensure his safe passage to the afterlife. On the island of Crete, for example, basil is the symbol of mourning, which is along the lines of Elisabetta who is mourning the death of her Lorenzo.[Cf]. the story of Lisabetta and her lover Lorenzo, The Representation of Collective Death in the. She plants basil in the pot over Lorenzo's head, an act which calls to mind the Florentines attempts to lessen the fetor of the plague's victims: "portando nelle mani chi fiori, chi erbe odorifere e chi diverse maniere di spezierie... estimando essere ottima cosa il cerebro con cotali odori confortare, con ciò fosse cosa che l'aere tutto paresse dal puzzo de' morti corpi e delle infermità e delle medicine … Lisabetta's brothers want to get rid of her lover without dishonor in the same way that the women of the brigata desire to leave Florence with honor - the same reason Filomena herself gives Pampinea in the Proem for inviting men to accompany them. Lorenzo visits Lisabetta in a dream with torn and rotting clothes, alluding to his decomposition, and tells his lover where to locate his body. The similarity between these two words is undeniable and one could presume that Boccaccio chose these words deliberately. John Gerard claims basil to be a remedy for melancholy Therefore, the presence of death on the fourth day could be construed as a reminder to the brigata of possible contamination and death. puts head in a pot, fills with soil, and plants basil she waters with her own tears "the basil grew very think and exceedingly fragrant" neighbours see her cry into the pot every day and tell the brothers The symbolic meaning of the pot of basil in this story can be interpreted in multiple ways. She waters the plant with her tears and dies of sorrow after the pot is taken away from her. She therefore decides to cut off his head and put it in a pot with basil planted on top. [Cf]. . testa The plant is both associated with love and death, like we see in the story of Lisabetta The symbolic meaning of the pot of basil in this story can be interpreted in multiple ways. We would like to shine a light upon the symbolism of this object and its various possible interpretations. She plants basil in the pot over Lorenzo's head, an act which calls to mind the Florentines attempts to lessen the fetor of the plague's victims: "portando nelle mani chi fiori, chi erbe odorifere e chi diverse maniere di spezierie... estimando essere ottima cosa il cerebro con cotali odori confortare, con ciò fosse cosa che l'aere tutto paresse dal puzzo de' morti corpi e delle infermità e delle medicine compreso e puzzolente." She then wrapped it in a piece of fine cloth, and set it in a large and beautiful pot of the sort in which marjoram or basil is planted, and covered it with earth, and therein planted some roots of the goodliest basil of Salerno, and drenched them only with her tears, or water perfumed with roses or orange-blossoms. testo First of all, we should point out the following: in the Italian text we read that Lisabetta puts the head of her lover Lorenzo Another point of view is that the pot of basil symbolizes fertility. Although no direct mention of the plague appears after the author's lengthy portrayal at the beginning of the work, echoes of the epidemic are present in the novella of Lisabetta and Lorenzo. [Cf, p 751]. Lisabetta's brothers are merchants who left Tuscany, possibly San Gimignano or even Florence, to travel to Sicily. Of course Lorenzo's grave is hidden with new dirt and leaves to hide the murder, but anonymous burial in the ground recalls aspects of the plague. The plague, and therefore death in general, is the unpleasant news which the group would like to ignore. On the fourth day, in which Filostrato decrees the narration of love stories with unhappy endings, Filomena recounts the story of Lisabetta and her lover Lorenzo, who is killed by the young girl's brothers after their love affair is discovered. would be Messina can be taken as a metaphor for Florence and love as a metaphor for the plague. In the introduction, Boccaccio describes the Florentines fleeing the city, carrying flowers around with them to mask the stench of corpses and illness, fearing contamination from the decomposing bodies, and burying plague victims in mass graves. She waters the plant with her tears and dies of sorrow after the pot is taken away from her. Indeed, the most macabre of the ten stories told in this day, Filomena's narrative contains more details of mutilation (the cutting off of Lorenzo's head by Lisabetta for example) and of decomposition than any other novella of Boccaccio's Decameron. She could have seen the plant as a helpless child; a child that needed to be looked after and had to be raised with love. in standard Italian. Albeit the account of the plague and Filomena's story differ in many ways, similar plague-referential conditions are found in both. We can also look at the symbolic meaning of the object from a cultural perspective. On the first day, Pampinea strictly orders the servants who leave the company to perform household errands to avoid bringing displeasing news back to the brigata. Various elements of the introduction can be compared with points of Filomena's narrative. in un Lisabetta is not able to take Lorenzo’s entire dead body with her. In Hindu tradition, basil is a symbol of love, eternal life and protection. Lisabetta finds Lorenzo's body, cuts off his head, wraps it in a beautiful cloth, and gives it a loving burial. Lisabetta is not able to take Lorenzo’s entire dead body with her. In addition to this remark, the Italian word for head is In fact, Lorenzo’s head together with the basil is being fertilized by the tears of Lisabetta. Boccaccio explains that, in addition to the population losses from the pestilence inside the city of Florence, the surrounding countryside was affected as well by the plague's destruction. [Cf, p 45]. Lorenzo also left Pisa to travel with them. When they leave Messina after disposing of Lorenzo's head, Lisabetta and her brothers go to Naples ("niuna altra medicina essere contro alle pistilenze migliore né così buona come il fuggir loro davanti") fearing that the murder might be discovered or possibly "mossi non meno da tema che la corruzione de' morti non gli offendesse."

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