A garden is a simple place, a small escape from the home, where one can roam at leisure. But there is more, something about its sensuousness gives rise to deeper feelings. In the Decameron and in Augustine's Confessions gardens become representative of the consequences of beauty. But they also serve as catalysts of curiousity, pleasant conversation and as places of renewal in their spring freshness
[...] whatever it is that is distorting our vision, it must emanate from the pear tree” (542). Lydia's speech however, is what is distorting his perceptions. If he trusted his senses he'd still be calling her a “vile strumpet” (541). It was this kind of censure that she feared. While there is no magic or anything unnatural which seeps from the tree there is definitely a quality which invites and entices. So when Lydia scoffs shouldn't do it out here in the garden” (542) the complete opposite is actually the case. [...]
[...] The tale of Alatiel concerns an extremely beautiful girl stranded in a foreign country (where, interestingly enough, she can no longer speak and be understood). The men who see her stare and are seized by her beauty, they talk and think of nothing else and in the end squabble and kill in order to experience her. desire to experience what is forbidden” (Augustine, 23) runs rampant. In the same way, upon seeing a particularly beautiful garden on the third day the Brigata are filled with urge to explore its every detail because it seems a thing of “wondrous beauty” (190). [...]
[...] The tale of the desert is bleak, austere and full of hardship. The very absence of diverting scenery allows for a truer looking within, where mystics seeking closeness to God, the greatest distance between themselves and earthly goods” (Boccaccio 275). Both Augustine and the Brigata are restoring something they could not find at home. Augustine's dismal cry of vile I was, how twisted and filthy, covered in sores and ulcers” (144) is not simply a coincidental echo of the actual physical plague in Florence which the Brigata are fleeing. [...]
[...] Now they are conforming to the standards of ladies only. They go to where they are no danger of being observed” (481) and do what they do not want observed, then they return. Not only are they free from observation, but this place has the added benefit of being delectable and lovely a place as could possibly be imagined” (480). They go to seek pleasure. It is not always observation that is feared as much as harmful speech as is demonstrated by Masetto's experience as a mute. [...]
using our reader.