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November 6, 2017

The Structure of Boccaccio's The Decameron

The Structure of  Boccaccio's The Decameron

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.

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, the structure of the decameron

Kings and Queens

Day 1: Pampinea (Queen)

Day 2: Filomena (Queen)

Day 3: Neifile (Queen)

Day 4: Filostrato (King)

Day 5: Fiammetta (Queen)

Day 6: Elissa (Queen)

Day 7: Dioneo (King)

Day 8: Lauretta (Queen)

Day 9: Emilia (Queen)

Day 10: Panfilo (King)


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