Fiammetta Papi

Historical present and elegiac present in «The Elegy of Lady Fiammetta» by Boccaccio

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: verb tenses; Old Italian; Ovid’s Heroides.

This article considers Boccaccio’s use of verb tenses in Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta, with specific reference to the present indicative. A distinction is made between the use of present tenses referring to actions or thoughts that occur at the same time as Fiammetta writes, after Panfilo’s departure (presente-presente), and the use of the historical (or narrative) present indicating past situations that Fiam­metta recalls in her memories. The last section examines the use of the historical present in Ovid’s Heroides, the most important literary source for Boccaccio’s Elegia, suggesting a possible comparison between the two works from this specific perspective.

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