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Boccaccio's The Decameron: Day 4, Story 9 (Summary)

Summary of Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron Day 4 Story 9


King Filostrato told the ninth story of the fourth day.

In Provence, there lived two noble knights by the names Sir Guiglielmo Rossiglione and Sir Guiglielmo Guardastagno. They lived about ten miles from each other and greatly respected one another's skills, so they became very good friends. They would often travel together to tournaments, jousts, and other such events and they even wore the same emblem.

As it happened, Guardastagno fell madly in love with Rossiglione's wife, and when he made his feelings known to her he found that she shared his feelings. It was not long after they made their feelings for one another known that they began making love whenever the opportunity presented itself; however, they were reckless and Rossiglione soon caught them. Rossiglione's love for Guardastagno turned to utter hatred and he vowed to kill Guardastagno the first chance he got, but in the meantime he pretended that they were still the best of friends.

Rossiglione heard that there was going to be a grand tournament in France, so he sent word to Guardastagno about it and asked him to come over to his castle so they could discuss going. Guardastagno agreed to come over the following day.

The next day, Rossiglione took a few of his men and rode to the woods, which was about a mile from his home, and waited to ambush Guardastagno. Guardastagno was accompanied by two of his men; all of them were unarmed. When Rossiglione saw Guardastagno he rode towards him with his lance drawn yelling: "traitor, now you are dead!" (350). Guardastagno was caught so off-guard that he didn't even say a word or put up a fight. His two guards fled back to their master's castle. Once he was dead, Rossiglione cut open Guardastagno's chest and took out his heart, wrapping it up in a pennant from a lance he gave it to one of his guards to carry back. He ordered his men to not tell anyone about what had happened that day, and then they all returned home.

Rossiglione gave the Guardastagno's heart to the cook and told him to make the most delectable dish that he could out of the boar's heart. Rossiglione's wife was worried about Guardastagno and asked her husband why he hadn't arrived yet. He told her that Guardastagno had sent word that he would not come until the next day.

Rossiglione had no appetite that evening, so when the cook brought out the prepared heart Rossiglione gave it to his wife. She was very hungry so she ate every last bit of the heart. Rossiglione asked her how she liked the dish and she told him that it was delicious. He then told her that it was the heart of Rossiglione that she was eating not that of a boar. Without any hesitation the lady got up and went to a window and jumped out; she was killed instantly and her body shattered upon impact. Rossiglione feared what the Count of Provence would do to him, so he fled immediately.

Word about what had happened spread quickly and the two bodies were gathered together and buried in the same tomb in the lady's chapel.




Sources

Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. New York: Signet Classics, 1982.

Published on March 20, 2016 by Sophia Brookshire © All Rights Reserved

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