The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Abbess Usimbalda Character Analysis

In Elissa’s ninth tale (IX, 2), Abbess Usimbalda runs the convent where Sister Isabetta lives. She sneaks her lover into the convent frequently, despite her pious reputation. She’s caught when she accidentally puts her lover’s breeches on her head in the middle of the night, and she immediately switches from chastising Sister Isabetta to excusing her actions. She is thus part of The Decameron’s anticlerical satire.
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The Decameron PDF

Abbess Usimbalda Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Abbess Usimbalda appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 9: Second Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...to lie in wait and catch Isabetta in the act rather than telling the Abbess, Abbess Usimbalda , right away. (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...careful watch, and the next time Sister Isabetta is with her lover, they run to Abbess Usimbalda ’s room. But she is with her own lover, and dressing quickly in the dark,... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Sister Isabetta silently endures Abbess Usimbalda ’s abuse for a while, until she notices her odd headwear. Then she daringly suggests... (full context)