This thesis uses a combination of folklore theory, Italian history, and humoral medical traditions to investigate the Tale of Tales for their references to medicine, pregnancy, and the functions of the body. I argue that the understanding of medicine and the human body, though changing to be more accurate due to the anatomists of the late Renaissance, was so rooted in inaccurate Galenic beliefs that one can find numerous convolutions of medicine and magic in Basile’s work, particularly in regards to the digestive and reproductive systems. By using folklore theory and placing the Tale of Tales in its geographical and political settings, and analyzing it through the lens of medical history, I attempt to determine the difference between what Early Modern people knew and what they still believed.
Hayer, Greta, "No Laughing Matter: Medicine and Pregnancy in Giambattista Basile’s Tale of Tales" (2016). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 7013.
folklore, fairy tales, Italy, medicine, Basile, Naples
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2016 Greta Hayer