The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Filomena Character Analysis

Filomena is a member of the brigata, whose name means either “the beloved” or “the lover of song.” Because Giovanni Boccaccio dedicates another of his works, Il Filostrato, to a “Filomena,” she may be the object of Filostrato’s affections within the company. Thus, in allegorical readings of the text, she is associated with fortitude since she can withstand Filostrato’s anger. She takes her maid, Liscia, with her to the countryside. She is the sovereign of Day II, which takes fortune as its theme. Among the ladies, she initially seems to be the most cautious, worrying about the discord and strife that will follow if they leave Florence without men to guide them, but she’s also one to whom the other women look for guidance. She signals her virtue when she rebukes Neifile for fearing gossip, claiming that no one should be afraid of what others say if their consciences are clear before God. However, the song she sings on Day VII strongly suggests that she’s newly in love and that she may even have gone farther than just exchanging looks with this man, exciting speculation and envy among her peers.

Filomena Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Filomena or refer to Filomena. 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: Third Tale Quotes

The story I propose to relate […] should prove more agreeable to a lay audience inasmuch as the priesthood consists for the most part of extremely stupid men, inscrutable in their ways, who consider themselves in all respects more worthy and knowledgeable than other people, whereas they are decidedly inferior. They resemble pigs, in fact, for they are too feeble-minded to earn an honest living like everybody else, and so they install themselves wherever they can fill their stomachs.

Page Number: 205
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 6: First Tale Quotes

Whereupon this worthy knight, whose swordplay was doubtless on par with his storytelling, began to recite his tale, which in itself was indeed excellent. But by constantly repeating the same phrases, and recapitulating sections of the plot, and every so often declaring that he had ‘made a mess of that bit,’ and regularly confusing the characters, he ruined it completely. Moreover, his mode of delivery was completely out of keeping with the characters and the incidents he was describing, so that it was painful for Madonna Oretta to listen to him. She began to perspire freely, and her heart missed several beats, as though she had fallen ill and was about to give up the ghost.

Related Characters: Filomena (speaker), Madonna Oretta
Page Number: 447
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 8: Sixth Tale Quotes

Calandrino is a mean sort of fellow, who’s very fond of drinking when other people pay. So let’s go and take him to the tavern, where the priest can pretend to play the host to the rest of us and pay for all the drinks. When he sees that he has nothing to pay, Calandrino will drink himself into a stupor, and then the rest will be plain sailing because there’s no one else staying at the house.

Everything turned out as Bruno had predicted. When Calandrino saw that the priest would not allow him to pay, he began to drink like a fish, and quaffed a great deal more than he needed to make him drunk.

Related Characters: Bruno (speaker), Calandrino, Buffalmacco, Filomena
Page Number: 580
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 10: Eighth Tale Quotes

Friendship, then, is a most sacred thing, not only worthy of singular reverence, but eternally to be praised as the deeply discerning mother of probity and munificence, the sister of gratitude and charity, and the foe of hatred and avarice, ever ready, without waiting to be asked, to do virtuously unto others that which it would wish to be done unto itself. But very seldom in this day and age do we find two persons in whom its hallowed effects may be seen, this being the fault of men’s shameful and miserly greed, which, being solely concerned with seeking its own advantage, has banished friendship to perpetual exile beyond earth’s farthest limits.

Related Characters: Filomena (speaker), Titus Quintus Fulvius, Gisippus
Page Number: 763
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Filomena Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Filomena appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 1: Introduction
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...prevent any embarrassment that might arise from naughtiness in their stories. They are Pampinea, Fiammetta, Filomena, Emelia, Lauretta, Neifile, and Elissa. (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Most of the other ladies are eager to go, but Filomena urges caution: she’s worried that without male guidance they might quarrel and split up. Elissa... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...flushes with embarrassment and begs Pampinea to be careful; traveling together might lead to gossip. Filomena retorts that gossip can’t harm a person who lives honestly and has a clear conscience... (full context)
Day 1: Third Tale
Intelligence Theme Icon
Filomena speaks next. She thinks it’s time to turn to the adventures of humans. Her tale... (full context)
Day 1: Fourth Tale
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
As soon as Filomena finishes, Dioneo pipes up. Because the point of telling stories is to give each other... (full context)
Day 1: Conclusion
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
As the sun begins to set, Pampinea addresses the company, crowning Filomena the next sovereign. Filomena overcomes her modesty and gives her first commands: she confirms the... (full context)
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Everyone is subject to fortune, so Filomena wants to hear stories about “those who after suffering a series of misfortunes are brought... (full context)
Day 2: Introduction
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...After breakfast, dancing, and a siesta, they gather to tell stories under the rulership of Filomena, who asks Neifile to tell the day’s first tale. (full context)
Day 2: Second Tale
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
While the company is still laughing over Neifile’s story, Filomena commands Filostrato to tell the next tale. Rinaldo d’Asti is a traveling merchant who unfortunately... (full context)
Day 2: Ninth Tale
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
It’s now Filomena’s turn, since Dioneo has permission to tell the day’s last tale. She recalls a proverb... (full context)
Day 2: Tenth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Everyone praises Filomena’s tale, especially Dioneo, who nevertheless contends that it’s foolish to think that women will forego... (full context)
Day 2: Conclusion
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...with Dioneo that Bernabò was foolish to trust his wife. Once the laughter dies down, Filomena crowns Neifile as the next day’s sovereign. Her modesty—she blushes and lowers her eyes—only makes... (full context)
Day 3: Third Tale
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Filomena prefaces her tale with an acknowledgement that it is more suitable for a lay audience... (full context)
Day 4: Fifth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Filomena, sighing over the fate of Gerbino and the Tunisian Princess, begins the story of Lisabetta... (full context)
Day 5: Eighth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Filomena begins her tale with its intended lesson: just as women’s pity is praised, so too... (full context)
Day 5: Ninth Tale
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Fiammetta’s story, like Filomena’s, shows women the danger of allowing love to fall into the hands of fortune and... (full context)
Day 6: Introduction
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...the kitchen before Liscia takes over the entire day with her “prattle.” She then asks Filomena to begin. (full context)
Day 6: First Tale
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Filomena prefaces her story with Pampinea’s words from the first day about wit being the best... (full context)
Day 6: Second Tale
Class and Character Theme Icon
Filomena’s tale has reminded Pampinea of another one about Geri Spina. It shows that, while nature... (full context)
Day 6: Third Tale
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Lauretta agrees with Filomena and Pampinea about the importance of wit as a skill for ladies, noting that it... (full context)
Day 7: Seventh Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Filomena tells the next tale. In Paris, Lodovico (primarily called by his assumed name, Anichino),  the... (full context)
Day 7: Conclusion
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Filomena sings a song in which a lover is separated from her beloved. She describes how... (full context)
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
When Filomena is done singing, Lauretta reminds the company that the next day is Friday and suggests... (full context)
Day 8: Sixth Tale
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Filomena’s tale, inspired by Elissa’s, also concerns Calandrino, Bruno, and Buffalmacco. A small country farm made... (full context)
Day 9: First Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Filomena speaks first, choosing Love as her topic, since the company couldn’t exhaust the subject if... (full context)
Day 10: Eighth Tale
Class and Character Theme Icon
Filomena, while extolling the virtue of the day’s various munificent kings, uses her story to turn... (full context)
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Filomena ends her tale with a reflection on the nature of friendship, that sacred mother of... (full context)
Day 10: Ninth Tale
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Panfilo praises Filomena’s description of friendship, then turns to his own story, which shows another eminently worthy and... (full context)