Plague Pandemic: Review of the Disease in the Literature
What is the author’s viewpoint? The author’s own opinions of how they felt about a topic they were writing about the two-author viewpoint how they are the same and how they are different, they are the same when they talk about the symptoms, thinking God is punishing them. The difference they each author’s viewpoint was one was careless, the other one was caring, the awful disease was, different between rich and poor dealing with the disease, finding happiness, and other one was still hopeless.
One, similarly that the two authors have the same viewpoints by describing the symptoms. In The Decameronthe authors says, “first sign in men and women alike by means of swelling either in the groin or under the armpits, some of which grew to the size of an ordinary apple an others to the size of an egg”1. In the Procopius on the plague of 542, the author says, “this took place not only in the particular part of the body which is called bourbon that is ‘below the abdomen,’ but also inside the armpit, and in some case also beside the ears, and at different points on the thighs”. They both would talk about the symptoms and how some of the symptoms would be in the same spot compared to the other ones. Both viewpoints described how they were below the armpits.
Next, similarly, the two authors have the same viewpoints on how they both were thinking that God is punishing them. In The Decameron, the author says, “the influence of heavenly bodies or because of God’s just wrath as a punishment to mortal for our wicked deeds, the pestilence, originating some years earlier in the East, killed an infinite number of people as it spread relentlessly from one place to another until it had stretched its miserable length all over the West”. In the Procopius on the plague of 542 the authors says, “ but for this calamity, it is quite impossible either to express in words or to conceive in thought any explanation, except indeed to refer it to God. For it did not come in a part of the world nor upon certain men, nor did it confine itself to any season of the year, so that from such circumstances it might be possible to find subtle explanations of a cause, but it embraced the entire world, and blighted the lives of all men, though differing from one another in the most marked degree, respecting neither sex nor age”.
Both authors talk about why God is doing this to them. What did they do to deserve this awful disease that has hit their cities? Both authors tell us about how these people are feeling during this crisis trying to figure out why God is trying to kill them instead of saving them.
One contrast, the Black death author’s point of view is different from Procopius on the plague 542 points of view of different social classes. The author would describe the difference between the wealthy people and the poor people and how the rich people would lock themselves in their homes with a group of their friends and party all day and night. First was how the rich people felt during this disease In The Decameron the authors say “ They shut themselves up in those houses where there were no sick people and where one could live well by eating the most delicate of foods and drinking the finest of wines, allowing no one to speak about or listen to anything said about sick and the dead outside; these people lived, entertaining themselves with music and other pleasures that they could”. People are enjoying themselves during the lockdown celebrating with their small groups having party’s no care in the world staying home every day amusing themselves to pass the time. While people who were not so lucky had to deal with the fear of getting it. Next, The author would describe the people who are suffering and dying. The author says, “for everyone felt he was doomed to die and as a result, abandoned his property, and any stranger who came upon them used them as if he were their rightful owner”. The author talks about how people who live in different social classes would get different treatment. For example, people who come for a wealthy home would have hope of making it through this time by staying home. While people who were not so fortunate would have absolutely no hope of getting through this alive because they would be living on the streets or working and eventually would get the disease.
The second difference, how Procopius on the plague 542 is different from the Black Death author’s viewpoint, was careless on how to handle the corpses. The author would report that people who died in Procopius plague 542 how people were dying left and right, and the tombs were filling up fast with corpses they had no more room to put people. The author’s viewpoint on how careless they were about their own people’s instance of burying them in the ground. They dug up all the tombs around the city and set them aside while they thought of a plan on what to do with them. The sad part about this is that their plan was to use the corpses to fill nearly the whole town with dead bodies, by using them to cover people’s roofs or on towers. The authors say, “ no longer able to keep up with the number of the dying mounted the tower of the fortification in Galata a suburb of the city, and teasing off the roofs threw the bodies there in complete disorder and they piled up just as each one happened to fall, and filled practically all the towers with corpses, and then covered them again with their roofs”. They would not care about these poor people who were suffering from this disease instead of wasting their time digging up a grave for these people to give them a proper burial site they used them as a structure to put on a tower and on roofs of people’s houses.
On the other hand, how Black Death is different from Procopius on the plague 542 author’s viewpoint was caring on how they handle their corpses. In The Decameron the authors say “they would drag the corpse out of the home and place it in front of the doorstep, where usually in the morning, quantities of dead bodies could be seen by any passerby; then they were laid out biers, or for lack of biers, on a plank. Nor did a bier carry only one corpse; sometimes it was used for two or three at a time. More than once, a single bier would serve for a wife and husband, two or three brothers, a father or son, or other relatives all at the same time”. The author would explain how the priests would take the time and bury people who passed away during the black death and how they would be buried. If more than one person passed away in the family, they would be buried together so they can find peace together. In The Decameron, the authors say “ the dead were honored with no tears or candles or funeral mourners; in fact, things had reached such a point that the people who died were cared for as we care for goats today”. The author tells us that people who die should be given a proper burial because they cared about their people, how they should be honored for how much they suffered from the disease, how they fight is over, and hope they are in a better place.
Although, the Black death author’s point of view is different from Procopius on the plague 542 how the author would describe his viewpoint on how horrifying this disease was to watch. About this awful disease and how it affected different populations. It was so strong that it would travel from a person to an animal. This disease did not just infect people, but it also affected animals. In The Decameron, the authors say “the rags of a poor man who died of this disease were thrown into the public street, two pigs came upon them, and as they are wont to do, first with their snouts and then with their teeth they took the rags and shook them around; and within a short time, after a number of convulsions, both pigs fell dead upon the ill-dated rags, as if they had been poisoned”. The author gives us vivid imagery about the black death and how dangerous it is by using negative words to describe what he saw happen to the pigs. For example, poor, poisoned, ill-dated, dead these are all examples of negative words that the author felt about that situation and how disturbing it was to witness it with your own eyes.
Next contrast, the Black death author’s point of view is different from Procopius’s on the plague 542 points of view on how they finally found happiness. In The Decameron, the authors say “ to this Pampinea, who had driven away from her sad thoughts in the same way, replied happily: ‘Dioneo, what you say is very true: let us live happily, for, after all, it was unhappiness that made us flee the city”. The author’s viewpoint was to turn a negative into a positive. The author explains that he found happiness after so long of feeling sad and hopeless by leaving that city and going somewhere else. In The Decameron the author says “ladies, more than our preparations, it was your intelligence that guide us here. I do not know what you intend to do with your troubled thoughts, but I left mine inside the city walls when I passed through them in your company a little while ago: and so you must either make up your minds to enjoy yourselves and laugh and sing with me (as much, let me say, as your dignity permits), or you must give me leave to return to my worries and to remain in our troubled city”. The author talks about happiness and hopes and how they finally found it after a long time of feeling hopeless. The author would describe life after the disease and how much better it is not worrying about dying and how they can finally live their life. Seeing these amazing places where they can walk around and explore the garden enjoying every second of every day. The author felt very positive talking and feeling joyful about themselves laughing having a great time not worrying or thinking about that city.
However, Procopius on the plague 542 is different from the Black Death author’s viewpoint on how they are still hopeless. The author’s outlook was people are still dying their no hope of finding happiness in this life. In Procopius on the plague of 542, the authors say, “Certainly it seemed a difficult and very notable thing to have a sufficiency of bread or of anything else; so that with some of the sick it appeared that the end of life came about sooner than it should have come by reason of the lack of the necessities of life”. The author explains how there was no purpose of living anymore evening if you are not sick, yet you are still suffering with people dying every day and how there was a lack of the necessities of life. The author was feeling extremely negative about how they were nothing to live for anymore and just give up in life and died.
To sum it up the similar and different author’s viewpoints, they were similar by describing the symptoms how some of the symptoms would be in the exact area, ideas why God was heartless to his people for some explanation the people were puzzled that God would not guard them but rather do the opposite and have them suffer and shortly die with the disease, them they difference was careless on how they treat the corpses by utilizing the bodies as a texture on people’s houses and on towers, caring on how they manage their corpses, for example, presenting an appropriate burial, this gruesome disease observing people dying every day, how they found happiness at the end of a black hole, and hopeless this disease took a dreadful result with no hope of getting through it alive.
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