The Decameron

The Decameron


Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Beldam appears in Dioneo’s fifth tale (V, 10), where she uses her saintly reputation and old age as cover for the fact that she’s a bawd who sets up affairs for dissatisfied wives. She is a source of antifeminist commentary about women’s excessive desire, their fleeting desirability, and their “purpose” in life, which is to have sex and make babies.
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The Decameron PDF

Beldam Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Beldam appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 5: Tenth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Refusing to waste her youth, Pietro’s Wife secures the services of a Beldam with a saintly reputation, who agrees that the Good Lord wouldn’t want her to waste... (full context)