The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Alibech is the protagonist of Dioneo’s third tale (III, 10), who ultimately ends up married to Neerbal. She is a 14-year-old pagan girl who wonders how to serve God. When a Christian points her towards an ascetic life (practicing severe self-discipline and abstinence) in the desert, she follows her simple-minded adolescent impulse there. Eventually, Rustico takes her under his wing, but when he coerces her into having sex, she discovers how much she enjoys it. She thus illustrates the misogynistic medieval stereotype of women as excessively lustful.

Alibech Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Alibech or refer to Alibech. 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 3: Conclusion Quotes

“Now we shall discover whether the wolf can fare any better at leading the sheep than the sheep have fared in leading the wolves.”

On hearing this, Filostrato laughed and said: “Had you listened to me, the wolves would have taught the sheep by now to put the devil back in Hell, no less skillfully than Rustico taught Alibech. But you have not exactly been behaving like sheep, and therefore you must not describe us as wolves…”

“Allow me to tell you, Filostrato,” replied Neifile, “that if you men had tried to teach us anything of the sort, you might have learned some sense from us, as Masetto did from the nuns, and retrieved the use of your tongues when your bones were rattling from exhaustion.”

On perceiving that the ladies had as many scythes as he had arrows, Filostrato abandoned his jesting and turned to the business of ruling his kingdom.

Related Characters: Filostrato (speaker), Neifile (speaker), Rustico, Alibech, Young Nuns, Masetto
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Alibech Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Alibech appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 3: Tenth Tale
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
In Gafsa, a 14-year-old girl named Alibech begins a spiritual quest. Although she herself is not Christian, she asks one of the... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Several days later, nearly dead, Alibech stumbles upon the hut of one of these holy men. The hermit gives her food... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...resist temptation was unfounded, and he is soon plotting for a way to subtly seduce Alibech. He realizes that he can take advantage of her complete innocence of sexual knowledge. After... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Because she is a virgin, Alibech complains that it hurts when Rustico first puts the devil back in Hell, but the... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
At this point, a fire breaks out in Gafsa, killing Alibech’s entire family. A young man named Neerbal, wanting to inherit her wealth, tracks her down... (full context)