Literature Study GuidesThe DecameronIntroduction And Ninth Day First Story Summary

The Decameron | Study Guide

Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Decameron | Introduction and Ninth Day, First Story | Summary



Introduction to Ninth Day

Emilia is queen on the ninth day. The theme for this day is open and people can tell whatever kind of story they wish.

Ninth Day, First Story

Filomena begins. A widow named Francesca is being courted by two men, Rinuccio and Alessandro, but she wants nothing to do with either of them. She comes up with a plan to get rid of them both. A horribly wicked and ugly man named Scannadio has died. Francesca asks Alessandro to pretend to be Scannadio (who, she tells him, has to be exhumed), and wait for her family to get him. Then she asks Rinuccio to go to Scannadio's tomb and bring his body to her. If either refuses the task, they will never see her again. They fail to complete their tasks and Francesca is rid of both men.


Filomena gives the reader another instance of a character using her wits to get out of an unpleasant situation. She also uses this story to demonstrate the ridiculous lengths some people will go to in order to prove their love, even going so far as to deal with dead bodies.

Francesca is put in an uncomfortable position of two men wanting her, and her wish to be with neither of them. In order to get them to leave her alone, she sets them a nearly impossible challenge. Ordinarily in the collection of stories, this would be when fortune would make it so one of the men would win, but in this case fortune seems to side with Francesca.

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