The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Belcolore Character Analysis

In Panfilo’s eighth tale (VIII, 2), Monna Belcolore is the wife of Bentivegna del Mazzo and the object of the Worthy Priest’s affections because she seductively drives the men wild when she plays the tambourine, sings, and dances. She’s also said to be the best grinder in the village (suggesting that she sleeps around). However, trading sex for material gain as she does with the Worthy Priest is censured in The Decameron, and she falls victim to his tricks both because she is greedy and because she hasn’t learned Panfilo’s moral that all priests are untrustworthy.

Belcolore Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Belcolore or refer to Belcolore. 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 8: Second Tale Quotes

Her name was Monna Belcolore, she was married to a farmworker called Bentivegna del Mazzo, and without a doubt she was a vigorous and seductive-looking wench, buxom and brown as a berry, who seemed better versed in the grinder’s art than any other girl in the village. When […] she had occasion to play the tambourine, and sing […] and dance a reel or a jig […] she could knock the spots off every single one of her neighbors. Master Priest was so enthralled by all these talents of hers that he was driven to distraction […] Whenever he caught sight of her in church on a Sunday morning, he would intone a Kyrie and a Sanctus, trying very hard to sound like a master cantor when in fact he was braying like an ass, whereas if she was nowhere to be seen he would hardly open his lips.

Related Characters: Panfilo (speaker), Worthy Priest, Belcolore, Bentivegna del Mazzo
Page Number: 555-556
Explanation and Analysis:

“How much is it worth?” said the priest. “Why, I’ll have you know that it’s made of pure Douai, not to say Trouai, and there are those in the parish who would claim that it’s Quadrouai. I bought it less than a fortnight ago from Lotto, the old-clothes merchant, for exactly seven pounds, and according to Buglietto d’Alberto, who as you know is an expert in such matters, it would have been cheap at half the price.”

“Is that so?” said Belcolore, “So help me God, I would never have believed it. But anyway, let’s have a look.”

Related Characters: Worthy Priest (speaker), Belcolore
Page Number: 558
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Belcolore Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Belcolore appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 8: Second Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...on Sundays. In their husbands’ absence, he “blesses” the parish wives. He especially likes Monna Belcolore, the wife of Bentivegna del Mazzo, a “seductive-looking” and “buxom” woman “better versed in the... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
The Worthy Priest tries to attract Monna Belcolore’s attentions, singing in church to impress her (he sounds like a donkey) and giving her... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
The Worthy Priest promises to pay Monna Belcolore within a week, but she refuses “to do his bidding without a quid pro quo,”... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
...with a plan to retrieve his cloak for free. The next day, he borrows Monna Belcolore’s mortar and pestle to make a sauce. Then, just as she and Bentivegna del Mazzo... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Monna Belcolore sends the cloak back to the Worthy Priest with her own message: he “won’t be... (full context)