The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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In Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7), Alatiel is the daughter of Sultan Beminedab and the most beautiful woman of her day. On her way to marry the King of Algarve, she is shipwrecked and passed, at the command of fortune, through the beds of Pericone da Visalgo, his brother Marato, a ship’s Young Master, the Prince of Morea, the Duke of Athens, his brother-in-law Constant, the Turkish King Uzbek, his servant Antioco, and a Cypriot Merchant before she finally makes her way back home. Not only does she illustrate the twists of fortune—she’s described as fortune’s toy—but Panfilo suggests that she is a warning against feminine vanity, since her beauty caused her nothing but trouble. And she further illustrates the misogynistic medieval stereotypes of women as fickle and excessively lustful, since she ends up being happy with each of the lovers who hand her from one to another like a very beautiful object.

Alatiel Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Alatiel or refer to Alatiel . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Sex Theme Icon
).
Day 2: Seventh Tale Quotes

When he learnt about the circumstances of her arrival in the city, he saw no reason why he should not be able to have her. And indeed, once the wounded man’s relatives discovered that the Prince was putting out inquiries, they promptly sent her off to him without asking any questions. The prince was highly delighted, but so also was the lady, who considered that she had now escaped from a most dangerous situation. On finding that she was endowed with stately manners as well as beauty, the Prince calculated, since he could obtain no other clue to her identity, that she must be a woman of gentle birth, and his love for her was accordingly redoubled. And not only did he keep her in splendid style, but he treated her as though she were his wife rather than his mistress.

Related Characters: Panfilo (speaker), Alatiel , Prince of Morea, The Young Masters
Related Symbols: Fortune
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Alatiel Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Alatiel appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 2: Seventh Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Alatiel, a daughter of Beminedab, Sultan of Babylonia, is the most beautiful woman on earth in... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
The next morning, after the storm has passed, Alatiel gathers her maids. The ladies bemoan their plight until midday, when a local nobleman named... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Alatiel, recognizing that she’s landed in a Christian country, hides her identity. She instructs her maids... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Understanding that he can’t woo Alatiel with flattery and not wanting to force her, Pericone decides to use trickery. Alatiel (because... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Fortune has reduced Alatiel from a king’s bride to a baron’s mistress and is planning to debase her even... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Initially, this new catastrophe distresses Alatiel greatly, but Marato has the help of “Saint Stiffen-in-the-Hand” and he “consoles” her so pleasantly... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...still more in store: the two Young Masters who own the ship are moved by Alatiel’s beauty as well. Discovering that they both love Alatiel, they plan to share her, as... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
At Corinth, the fame of Alatiel’s great beauty reaches the Prince of Morea, who falls in love with her at first... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
But the Duke of Athens, a friend of the Prince of Morea, hears about Alatiel’s beauty and decides he must see her himself. After he asks the Prince if she... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...the window. Then the Duke strangles Ciuriaci and throws master and servant from the window. Alatiel, who slept through the murders, accepts the Duke into her bed thinking that he’s the... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Constant is so overpowered by Alatiel’s beauty that he understands why the Duke of Athens has gone to such great lengths... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...of Constant and his mistress, kidnaps the two from their bed one night, and takes Alatiel as his wife. The Emperor of Constantinople was negotiating an alliance with King Basano against... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
When Basano defeats Uzbek and marches on Turkey, Antioco and Alatiel flee to Rhodes. They are staying with a Cypriot Merchant when Antioco falls ill. On... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
While Alatiel is living as the Merchant’s wife in Cyprus, she encounters a lowly gentleman named Antigono—another... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Antigono arranges Alatiel’s triumphant return to Egypt. To account for her absence, she tells her father that after... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
The delighted Beminedab rewards Antigono and reestablishes Alatiel’s betrothal to the King of Algarve. And somehow, even though she’s had thousands of sexual... (full context)
Day 2: Eighth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Panfilo’s tale inspires many a sigh from the ladies—maybe from pity for Alatiel, maybe from jealousy at her sexual exploits—but everyone laughs at the ending. Elissa begins her... (full context)