Comparative Essay: Boccaccio is to Dante as Ovid was to Virgil
Poetry has always been intricate for the literary world. Intricate as it may be though, there have been occurrences of poets following a similar line of work. This similarity could come about because of a likeness in ideologies in their general worldview or simply out of a likeness in inspirations. Such are the cases of Bonnaccio and Dante as well as Virgil and Ovid. Bonnaccio and Dante were Italian Poets whose poetry took to the stage at different points in time, with Bonnaccio’s work coming to life much later. The same is the situation between Ovid and Virgil who were roman poets but in this case, Virgil’s work existed before Ovid’s.
The relationships between the two sets of people are very similar. For instance, Boccaccio is in awe of Dante; the same can be said of Ovid with regard to Virgil. This is because both Boccaccio and Ovid appeared to have dedicated their lives to bettering the works’ of Dante and Virgil respectively. Virgil’s Georgics and Ovid’s tale about Orpheus and Eurydice are fairly the same in viewpoints and outcomes, Ovid is just a little more detailed; as if creating a better version of Virgil’s story. In Boccaccio’s 9th story (2nd day), some points of the plot appear as if they were directly taken from circle 7 by Dante.
Both Boccaccio and Ovid struggle to be distinct from Dante and Virgil in their form of storytelling. Boccaccio’s tone in his works is one of mockery while Dante’s is one of Solemnity. In Ovid’s story of Eurydice and Orpheus, he deliberately excludes details that Virgil included in Georgics and makes an addition to those he didn’t.
These relationships are no doubt intricate and controversial. However, it cannot be argued that these four authors in all their similarities and differences, created masterpieces in the world of poetry.
Damrosch, D. The Longman Anthology of world literature. New York; Longman, 2004. Print.