HomeLiterature Study GuidesThe DecameronIntroduction And Eighth Day First Second Stories Summary

The Decameron | Study Guide

Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Decameron | Introduction and Eighth Day, First–Second Stories | Summary

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Summary

Introduction to Eighth Day

Lauretta is queen on this day. Following Filomena's example, she asks they skip both Friday and Saturday, and resume their storytelling on Sunday. The rest of the brigata agrees. The theme of the day is similar to the previous day, only instead of tricks wives play on their husbands, this time it is tricks anyone plays on another.

Eighth Day, First Story

Neifile tells the first story. In it, Gulfardo is in love with a married woman named Ambruogia. She is willing to be with him, but he must meet two conditions: he can never tell anyone of their relationship, and she wants 200 florins. Gulfardo is upset at the second request, and decides to teach Ambruogia a lesson. He borrows money from her husband Guasparuolo, and gives Ambruogia the money before they sleep together. Upon Guasparuolo's return, Gulfardo mentions that instead, he returned the money he borrowed to Ambruogia. So she must return the money to her husband and cannot keep it.

Eighth Day, Second Story

Panfilo narrates another tale about a corrupt clergyman. A priest is enamored with a married woman named Monna Belcolore. Before she will sleep with him, she asks for money to get her Sunday clothes out of pawn. The priest doesn't have the money, so he offers his cloak instead. After the deed is done, the priest wants his cloak back without having to pay the money. He borrows her mortar and pestle, then when Belcolore's husband is home, he returns the mortar and pestle and demands his cloak. Belcolore returns the cloak, but sends the priest a coded message expressing her displeasure.

Analysis

In these two stories, the men manage to get their own back from the women, although usually in terms of money or items, rather than humiliation. Neifile uses her story to scold women who sell their favors and fidelity for monetary gain rather than those who follow their hearts for love. The husband in her story never discovers his wife's infidelity, but she doesn't get to keep the money for her tryst.

The second story includes another corrupt priest who is in love with a married woman. Through many complications, he manages to get the cloak he likes so much back from her, but he endangers any future romps with her in the process. These instances of pranks are more lighthearted and the women are never made to look that foolish, merely outmaneuvered.

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