November 6, 2017

The Structure of The Decameron

The Decameron

the structure of the decameron: "People tend to believe the bad rather than the good." -Giovanni Boccaccio

The Subject for Each Day's Stories

"Each of the storytellers will tell a story on each of ten days of storytelling, and each storyteller (except Dioneo) must tell a story which follows a topic determined by the King or Queen on the previous day. The entire collections contains 100 novelle (xxxv)."

Day 1 There are no restrictions on the types of stories that can be told.

Day 2 The stories of the second day are to be about those who have achieved their happy endings after a period of misfortune.

Day 3 The third day is filled with stories of people who have either attained difficult goals, or who have recovered something that they had previously lost.

Day 4 Love stories that don't end happily, are the theme of the fourth day.

Day 5 On the fifth day, the theme is: love stories that start with misfortune, but end with happily-ever-afters.

Day 6 The sixth day is about intelligence: how intelligence helps the protagonist escape danger, ridicule, or discomfort.

Day 7 The stories of the seventh day involve wives, who have played tricks on their husbands.

Day 8 Each story of the eighth day are about ruses perpetrated by both men and women on each other.

Day 9 There are no restrictions on the types of stories that can be told.

Day 10 The last day of stories centers around good karma; those who have performed acts of generosity, and who have become famous as a result of their generosity.

kings and queens, the structure of the decameron

A List of Stories Told by Each Character

day # story # (example: Day 1 Story 1 = 1.1)

Dioneo:|5.10| 6.10|7.10|8.10|9.10|10.10







Neifile:|6.4|7.8| 8.1|9.4|10.1



Kings and Queens

Dioneo: King of Day 7

Elissa: Queen of Day 6

Emilia: Queen of Day 9

Fiammetta: Queen of Day 5

Filomena: Queen of Day 2

Filostrato: King of Day 4

Lauretta: Queen of Day 8

Neifile: Queen of Day 3

Pampinea: Queen of Day 1

Panfilo: King of Day 10

Is there any other questions that you have about Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron?


Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. Translated by Mark Musa and Peter Bondanella, Signet Classic, 1982.