Giovanni And Lusanna Analysis

848 Words 4 Pages
Giovanni and Lusanna
The narrative of Giovanni and Lusanna tells of an unusual situation in mid-fifteenth century Florence, when a bourgeois woman, Lusanna, took her forbidden lover, Giovanni, to court over the legal status of their secret marriage. The two had been covert lovers for twelve years before Giovanni publicly married an aristocrat woman instead of Lusanna. The chain of events was captured, by Ser Filippo Mazzei, as a notary of the court proceedings. These included court transcripts and witness accounts. The records were scattered among Mazzei’s “notarial corpus”, but they survived, and most of the fragments were available to Gene Brucker. This was a testament to the impressive record keeping in 15th century Florence. Brucker used
…show more content…
She was effectively breaking the societal expectations of women of her time. For instance, while she was expected to restrict herself sexually “Lusanna had had sexual relations with several men in her neighborhood, even while her husband Andrea was alive” (Brucker 26). In addition to this, Lusanna “stared openly at men whom she encountered in the street, a violation of the social convention which decreed that respectable women should lower their gaze in public” (Brucker 27). This incited gossip among the other women, who had accepted or were content with what the society expected of them. Unlike the men at the time, women who acted upon their sexual desires were looked down upon. Engaging in sexual pursuits was a common pastime among the men of all classes of Florentine society, but more so among the upper class or as Brucker asserts, “The pursuit of women was a common pastime of young Florentine males of all classes, but particularly among the rich and wellborn” (Brucker 77). By engaging in such pursuits, Lusanna acted like a man, crossing the societal boundaries on class and gender. It is clear that both Giovanni and Lusanna committed adultery. As a man, Giovanni acted according to social cues and warranted more leniencies by virtue of his family’s political power and wealth. This account, therefore, suggests that the higher court could not abide Lusanna’s blatant

Related Documents