Special Sub-Topic: The Decameron
|Where in Italy does this story begin?|
Florence. Boccaccio was actually born and grew up in Florence, so it's natural that he sets his stories there.
|For what reason do the ten storytellers leave the city?|
A plague is sweeping through the city.. The bubonic plague hit Florence in 1348 and killed about three quarters of the city's population. Boccaccio's step-mother died from the plague. Boccaccio survived by leaving the city and retreating to a house in Ravenna.
|How many stories are in The Decameron?|
100. The prefix 'deca' should have given you some hint as to what the name meant. The word actually means a volume consisting of ten parts, or books. In this case, the ten days, with ten stories in each day.
|Who is the King/Queen of the first day's storytelling?|
Pampinea. The group came to a consensus and elected Pampinea to be the queen of the first day and she in turn decided who would become the king or queen of next day's stories. The king or queen also decides the theme of the day's stories.
|On the first tale of the third day, Filostrato tells a story of a young man pretending to be dumb who finds a job intending to reap benefits from his lies (which he does). Where does he work?|
A convent. Thinking that this man is dumb, some of the younger nuns wish to sleep with him because none of them have had sex since they joined the convent. They think that since he is dumb, he won't be able to tell anyone about it, and he's perfectly happy to remain silent.
|In the first tale of the fourth day, Fiammetta tells a story in which a king murders his daughter's lover and sends her his heart in a golden cup. What does his daughter do when she receives the cup?|
She pours poison on it, drinks it, and dies.. This day's theme was that the storytellers tell tales of lovers whose relationship ends in disaster.
|In the tenth tale of the third day, Dioneo tells the story of how a priest named Rustico came to sleep with a young woman. How does he convince her to do this?|
He tells her that it will help put the Devil back in Hell.. Rustico tells the naive girl that his private parts are the Devil and that hers are Hell. So by sleeping together, they are actually helping God to put the Devil back into Hell. Perhaps the most bawdy tale of the Decameron.
|In the fourth tale of the first day, Dioneo tells a story of corrupt clergy. A young monk sleeps with a woman and he finds out that the abbot was outside of the room and heard everything. What happens to the monk?|
The monk tricks the abbot and makes him appear to be a hypocrite, avoiding punishment.. The monk locks the girl in his room and tells the abbot he is leaving. While the monk is away, the abbot unlocks the room and has sex with the girl as well. The monk sees everything and later, when the abbot is ready to punish him, the monk reveals that he saw the abbot and the girl together. Therefore, the abbot cannot punish the monk, because he would seem like a hypocrite.
|In the fourth tale of the third day, Panfilo tells the story of how a man came to sleep with a friar's wife. How was he able to do this without attracting the attention of the woman's husband?|
He distracts the friar by teaching him to do penance, which takes up all his time.. While the friar is spending all his time doing penance, the man is able to have an affair with the wife, since her husband is hardly there. The theme of this day was stories in which by their wit, people are able to achieve their long-desired goals.
|In the seventh story of the sixth day, Filostrato tells the story of a married woman who is having an affair with a young man. When her husband finds out she goes to the judge so he can decide her punishment. But she is able to escape punishment. How does she do this?|
She convinces the judge that what she was doing was actually helping the young man.. The wife tells the judge that she never lacked in loving her legitimate husband, and afterwards, she still had so much love left to give. She tells the judge that loving this other young man is much better than letting him die from love sickness and sadness. The theme of this day was stories in which someone escapes danger through a clever remark.
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