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The Decameron | Story Summaries

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Story Summaries Chart

Story Summary
Preface Boccaccio opens The Decameron with a brief, and likely fictional, explanation of why he wrote it. Compassion, he writes,... Read More
Introduction and First Day, First Story As the book begins, Florence has been hit hard by the black death. The disease is highly contagious and is spreading r... Read More
First Day, Second Story Neifile tells the next story about a Parisian merchant named Giannotto di Civignì and his Jewish friend, Abraham. Both a... Read More
First Day, Third Story Filomena narrates the third story of the first day. Saladin, the sultan of Babylon, discovers he needs money and goes to... Read More
First Day, Fourth Story Dioneo tells the next story. A young monk sees a beautiful girl as he is walking, and becomes enamored with her. He conv... Read More
First Day, Fifth–Tenth Stories Fiammetta tells a story about the marchioness of Montferrato, who learns the king of France intends to pay her a visit... Read More
Introduction and Second Day, First–Fourth Stories Filomena is queen on the second day. Her choice of theme is misadventures that have happy endings. She chooses Neifile... Read More
Second Day, Fifth Story Fiammetta tells a story about a young man from Sicily named Andreuccio di Pietro, who sets out for Naples with 500 gold ... Read More
Second Day, Sixth Story Emilia narrates this story. Madame Beritola is the wife of the governor of the island of Sicily. When their political fo... Read More
Second Day, Seventh Story Panfilo tells the following tale. A long time ago, the sultan of Babylon had a daughter named Alatiel. She was promised ... Read More
Second Day, Eighth–Tenth Stories Elissa tells the story of the Count of Antwerp, known as Walter. The queen of France tries to seduce him but when he r... Read More
Introduction and Third Day, First Story Neifile is queen on this day. She suggests they skip Friday and Saturday, days of religious observance,and reconvene o... Read More
Third Day, Second–Ninth Stories Pampinea recounts the tale of King Agilulf, his wife, and the groom. The groom falls in love with the king's wife, and... Read More
Third Day, Tenth Story Dioneo narrates the final story of the day. In Tunisia lived a 14-year-old girl named Alibech. While not a Christian, Al... Read More
Introduction to Fourth Day Filostrato is king for the fourth day, and he chooses stories filled with people whose love ends unhappily. Before... Read More
Fourth Day, First Story Fiammetta tells the first story of Tancredi, the Prince of Salerno. Tancredi has a daughter, Ghismunda, whom he loves ve... Read More
Fourth Day, Second Story Pampinea narrates this story about the hypocrisy of the clergy. A wicked man named Berto della Massa from Imola moves to... Read More
Fourth Day, Third–Fourth Stories Lauretta narrates. Three sisters love three young men and run away with them to the island of Crete. The eldest sister... Read More
Fourth Day, Fifth Story Filomena tells a story about Lisabetta and Lorenzo, two young people in love. Lorenzo is a man of lower social standing ... Read More
Fourth Day, Sixth–Tenth Stories Panfilo is the storyteller. Andreuola and Gabriotto are neighbors, and they fall in love. Because he is in a lower cla... Read More
Introduction and Fifth Day, First–Third Stories Fiammetta is the queen for the fifth day and she deems the theme to be stories of love affairs with happy endings. ... Read More
Fifth Day, Fourth Story Filostrato tells this story. An older man, Lizio da Valbona, and his wife have a beautiful daughter named Caterina. A yo... Read More
Fifth Day, Fifth–Eighth Stories Neifile narrates. Giacomino da Pavia raises his friend's 10-year-old ward, Agnesa. She grows up to be very beautiful. ... Read More
Fifth Day, Ninth Story Fiammetta tells the story of Federigo degli Alberighi, who falls in love with Monna Giovanna. To win her favor he jouste... Read More
Fifth Day, Tenth Story Dioneo ends the stories for the fifth day. Pietro di Vinciolo is a rich man more interested in other men than in women. ... Read More
Introduction and Sixth Day, First–Fourth Stories Elissa is the queen for the sixth day, and the theme is stories about those who use wit to save themselves from embarr... Read More
Sixth Day, Fifth Story Panfilo tells a story of two intelligent but ugly men, Forese and the artist Giotto. Forese is a famous jurist, and Giot... Read More
Sixth Day, Sixth–Ninth Stories Fiammetta tells this story. Michele Scalza and his friends get into a debate about which Florentine family was the old... Read More
Sixth Day, Tenth Story Dioneo tells a story that takes place in Boccaccio's birthplace of Certaldo. Brother Cipolla is a red-haired pleasant sc... Read More
Introduction and Seventh Day, First Story Dioneo, king in Seventh Day, calls for stories in which wives fool their husbands. He moves their location to the Vall... Read More
Seventh Day, Second Story Filostrato tells the next story. Peronella is a beautiful young woman married to a poor man in Naples. One day, a young ... Read More
Seventh Day, Third–Ninth Stories Elissa tells the following story. Rinaldo falls in love with his neighbor's wife, Agnesa, but she is not interested. S... Read More
Seventh Day, Tenth Story Dioneo tells the story of two Sienese men, Tingoccio Mini and his friend Meuccio di Tura. They were very close friends a... Read More
Introduction and Eighth Day, First–Second Stories Lauretta is queen on this day. Following Filomena's example, she asks they skip both Friday and Saturday, and resume t... Read More
Eighth Day, Third Story Elissa tells the following story. A simple-minded painter named Calandrino overhears a man telling his friend about the ... Read More
Eighth Day, Fourth–Tenth Stories Emilia is the narrator of this story. A beautiful widow attracts the attention of an old priest. She has no interest i... Read More
Introduction and Ninth Day, First Story Emilia is queen on the ninth day. The theme for this day is open and people can tell whatever kind of story they wish.... Read More
Ninth Day, Second Story Elissa narrates this story. Isabetta is a nun having an affair with a young man. He visits her in her chambers, but one ... Read More
Ninth Day, Third–Ninth Stories Filostrato narrates this story with Bruno, Buffalmacco, and Nello having fun again at Calandrino's expense. The three ... Read More
Ninth Day, Tenth Story Dioneo tells the final story of the day. Pietro da Tresanti and Father Gianni di Barolo are friends who stay in each oth... Read More
Introduction and Tenth Day, First–Ninth Stories Panfilo is king of this last day. Emilia tells him his must make up for the shortcomings of the previous monarchs. Acc... Read More
Tenth Day, Tenth Story Dioneo tells the last story. Gualtieri, the marquis of Sanluzzo, has no interest in taking a wife, but his vassals beg h... Read More
Conclusion In his author's conclusion, Boccaccio wishes to address some of the criticism he already sees coming his way. He did thi... Read More
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