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Role of the medicine bottle

In this novella, the magical brew is an instrument used by Calandrino’s friends in order to trick him out of his money. Calandrino gives the doctor money to buy the necessary ingredients. He trusts the doctor blindly. The potion represents the blind belief in folk magic, superstition, everything a person is led to believe by other people or even religion in general. In this instance, Calandrino is the believer.

During the Middle Ages, medicine was strictly connected to pharmacology. It was believed that some substances extracted from plants could cure people and that some other ones could kill.Maria Sgouridou, “The figure of the doctor and the science of medicine through Boccaccio’s Decameron’, in Le infezioni in medicina: rivista periodica di eziologia, epidemiologia, diagnostica, clinica e terapia delle patologie infettive, March 2014, page 67 During this time, belief in superstition and magic wasn’t uncommon. Boccaccio points out that magic can easily be used against ignorant people.

Want to read a bit more about finding the right medicine in Boccaccio’s time? Then click below. Or, go on and start reading the next literary object.

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