Another quality of this research is that, even if some of the novels examined by Migiel are not some of the most famous you can find in the Decameron, the
author quickly explains them and therefore it is easier to follow the reading of every chapter.
In the Decameron, the
term is mentioned first by Neifile, but with regard to the clerical catechism: Giannotto "engaged the most worthy men to instruct [ammaestrare] [Abraam] thoroughly in our faith" (I.2.29).
The first chapter begins, a rebours, with an examination of the last novella of the Decameron, the
tale of Griselda.
The novella is an enlarged anecdote like those found in Boccaccio's Decameron, the
14th-century Italian classic.
Let us begin by listing all these diverse components of the Decameron, keeping in mind that each of them leads to the following one in the structure of the work until we reach the core of the Decameron, the
one hundred tales; at that point, each component travels again backwards, as it were, across the previous trajectory, returning to the point of departure, when the brigata returns to Florence, which is still devastated by the plague.
I am thinking of Bruno and Buffalmacco in the Decameron, the
tricks by Ponzio mentioned in the Cortegiano (2.89), the tricks of Panurge in Rabelais's Pantagruel (chapter 15, "Des moeurs et conditions de Panurge"), and the incessant deceptions of Till Eulenspiegel.
Readers recall the danger of facing a crowd when, in the first tale of the Decameron, the
two Florentine brothers feared for their life because of the wickedness of Ciappelletto, their guest, who unexpectedly fell ill and asked for a confessor.
Centered on the Decameron, the
book reaches forward to twentieth-century narrative (e.g., Kafka, Calvino) for provocative comparisons.
However we divide the Decameron, the
Sixth Day is certainly placed in, at or around its center.
Finally, the humblest of all the women in the Decameron, the
shepherdess Griselda, can transform herself into the noblest of all the women ever described in the Decameron; she can undergo and suffer the most undeserved and harshest trials and tribulations to which a human being and a mother can possibly be subjected while showing that humility, meekness, and submissiveness can conquer injustice, violence, and wickedness.
(4) As readers move from Boccaccio's earlier works to the Decameron, the
question about Fiammetta cannot be whether she is the continuation of the previous homonymous characters, for she is not and cannot be.