Literature Study GuidesThe DecameronSecond Day Sixth Story Summary

The Decameron | Study Guide

Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Decameron | Second Day, Sixth Story | Summary



Emilia narrates this story. Madame Beritola is the wife of the governor of the island of Sicily. When their political fortunes change, she and her two sons escape to another island. She loses her sons when she is off weeping in the forest, and they are kidnapped by pirates. She is found by a man and his wife, and returns to Lunigiana (a mountainous region in northwest Tuscany) with them. Her oldest son comes to work for her master, falls in love with his daughter, and begins an affair with her. When her father finds out, he throws them both in jail. The mother and son finally reunite, Sicily rebels against Charles I, and Beritola's husband is reinstated.


Here is yet another tale in which fortune intervenes in a series of circumstances to ensure a favorable ending for the main characters. The political upheaval of the time period led to the displacement of dignitaries, nobles, and other political functionaries. This story demonstrates the unpredictable ways fortune can affect a person's life.

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