Decameron: Religion and Sexual Desires Essay example

Submitted By Lloyd-Johnson
Words: 640
Pages: 3

Lloyd Johnson
1 December 2013
ENGL 2201
Dr. Anselmo Sexual Morality of Monks in The Decameron Religions across the world have a code of morality that followers of the particular religion follow. In the renaissance era, many people shifted away from the churches perception of how religion should be practiced and began to form religious opinions of their own. This is customary throughout the tales of The Decameron where many tales describe actions that are taboo in the religious sect of that time period. The tale of the Monk and the Abbot (Day 1, Story 4) demonstrates the shift of religious morality well. Not only today, but in the past as well, Monks are believed to be abstinent throughout their life and be some of the most devout followers of their religion. In the story, a Monk sneaks a woman into the monastery (where the monk’s are housed) and brings her into his cell during the night. While the Monk is sneaking in his woman, an Abbot (who is ranked higher than a monk) witnesses this taking place. The Abbot then waits patiently for the monk to leave his cell without the woman; afterwards walking into the cell to confront the woman. When the Abbot enters the cell, instead of escorting her out of the monastery and disciplining the smuggling Monk, his mindset shifts away from the religious morals he once held. Once in the cell, the Abbot begins to have sex with the woman with the belief no one will find out. Unbeknownst to the Abbot, the Monk who originally smuggled the woman into the monastery was spying on the Abbot in hopes of seeing him sleep with the woman. When the Abbot left the cell, he confronted the monk and sentenced him to prison. The monk said to the Abbot that he had not belonged to the monastery long enough to know all of the rules. He continued by saying that until a moment ago, he had not learned how to support the weight of a woman. He then promised to always behave as the Abbot had. The Abbot quickly figured out what had happened and then decided to pardon the monk and told him never to reveal what he had seen. These actions demonstrate how devout religious figures seemingly loose their morality in the presence of women. On the Third Day, the fourth story presented another monk who had sexual relations with a woman. In the story, there was a young woman who could not fulfill her sexual desires with her husband because he would often