The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Filostrato Character Analysis

Filostrato is the second of the brigata’s men. His name means “defeated by love.” In allegorical readings of the book, he is associated with anger, a trait he displays when Pampinea tells a silly tale of frustrated lovers instead of a tragic one. As he complains when he’s crowned sovereign of Day IV, he himself has been unlucky in love. Because another of Giovanni Boccaccio’s works, titled Il Filostrato, is dedicated to a “Filomena,” it’s possible that Filomena is the object of his unreturned affections. Moreover, his tales throughout The Decameron frequently have a sexual component that sometimes denigrates women. However, he is gallant, and tolerates his companions’ complaints about his depressing topic, even making amends with an excellent tale of successful lovers on Day V. When Neifile crowns him sovereign, he engages in some sexually charged jesting with her, but quickly backs off when he realizes that he’s met his match (if not his superior) in her wit. He travels to the countryside with his servant, Tindaro.

Filostrato Quotes in The Decameron

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

The whole company, men and ladies alike, listened with admiration to the adventures of Rinaldo d’Asti, commending his piety and giving thanks to God and Saint Julian, who had come to his rescue in the hour of his greatest need. Nor, moreover, was the lady considered to have acted foolishly (even though nobody openly said so) for the way she had accepted the blessing that God had left on her doorstep. And while everyone was busy talking, with half-suppressed mirth, about the pleasant night the lady had spent, Pampinea […] started planning what to say.

Page Number: 82-83
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 3: First Tale Quotes

Thus it was that Masetto, now an elderly and prosperous father who was spared the bother of feeding his children and the expense of their upbringing, returned to the place from which he had set out with an axe on his shoulder, having had the sense to employ his youth to good advantage. And this, he maintained, was the way that Christ treated anyone who set a pair of horns on His crown.

Related Characters: Filostrato (speaker), Masetto
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
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: Neifile (speaker), Filostrato (speaker), Masetto, Young Nuns, Alibech, Rustico
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 5: Fourth Tale Quotes

When there was no longer any sound to be heard, Ricciardo climbed over a wall with the aid of a ladder, then climbed up to the side of the house by clinging with great difficulty to a series of stones projecting from the wall. At every moment of the ascent, he was in serious danger of falling, but in the end he reached the balcony unscathed, where he was silently received by the girl with very great rejoicing. After exchanging many kisses, they lay down together and for virtually the entire night they had delight and joy of one another, causing the nightingale to sing at frequent intervals.

Related Characters: Filostrato (speaker), Caterina, Ricciardo de’ Manardi
Page Number: 396
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 9: Fifth Tale Quotes

Hence, albeit we have referred many times to the doings of Calandrino, they are invariably so amusing, as Filostrato pointed out a little earlier, that I shall venture to add a further tale to those we have already heard about him. I could easily have told it in some other way, using fictitious names, had I wished to do; but since by departing from the truth of what actually happened, the storyteller greatly diminishes the pleasure of his listeners, I shall turn for support to my opening remarks, and tell it in its proper form.

Related Characters: Fiammetta (speaker), Filostrato, Calandrino
Page Number: 669
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 10: Third Tale Quotes

Fear me not, then, and rest assured that in view of the loftiness of your motives, no other living person loves you as greatly as I, for you do not devote your energies to the accumulation of riches, as misers do, but to spending what you have amassed. Nor should you feel ashamed for having wanted to kill me to acquire fame, or imagine that I marvel to hear it. In order to extend their dominions, and hence their fame, the mightiest emperors and greatest kings have practiced virtually no other art than that of killing, not just one person as you intended, but countless thousands, setting whole provinces ablaze and razing whole cities to the ground.

Related Characters: Nathan (speaker), Filostrato, Mithridanes
Page Number: 716
Explanation and Analysis:
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Filostrato Quotes in The Decameron

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

The whole company, men and ladies alike, listened with admiration to the adventures of Rinaldo d’Asti, commending his piety and giving thanks to God and Saint Julian, who had come to his rescue in the hour of his greatest need. Nor, moreover, was the lady considered to have acted foolishly (even though nobody openly said so) for the way she had accepted the blessing that God had left on her doorstep. And while everyone was busy talking, with half-suppressed mirth, about the pleasant night the lady had spent, Pampinea […] started planning what to say.

Page Number: 82-83
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 3: First Tale Quotes

Thus it was that Masetto, now an elderly and prosperous father who was spared the bother of feeding his children and the expense of their upbringing, returned to the place from which he had set out with an axe on his shoulder, having had the sense to employ his youth to good advantage. And this, he maintained, was the way that Christ treated anyone who set a pair of horns on His crown.

Related Characters: Filostrato (speaker), Masetto
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
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: Neifile (speaker), Filostrato (speaker), Masetto, Young Nuns, Alibech, Rustico
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 5: Fourth Tale Quotes

When there was no longer any sound to be heard, Ricciardo climbed over a wall with the aid of a ladder, then climbed up to the side of the house by clinging with great difficulty to a series of stones projecting from the wall. At every moment of the ascent, he was in serious danger of falling, but in the end he reached the balcony unscathed, where he was silently received by the girl with very great rejoicing. After exchanging many kisses, they lay down together and for virtually the entire night they had delight and joy of one another, causing the nightingale to sing at frequent intervals.

Related Characters: Filostrato (speaker), Caterina, Ricciardo de’ Manardi
Page Number: 396
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 9: Fifth Tale Quotes

Hence, albeit we have referred many times to the doings of Calandrino, they are invariably so amusing, as Filostrato pointed out a little earlier, that I shall venture to add a further tale to those we have already heard about him. I could easily have told it in some other way, using fictitious names, had I wished to do; but since by departing from the truth of what actually happened, the storyteller greatly diminishes the pleasure of his listeners, I shall turn for support to my opening remarks, and tell it in its proper form.

Related Characters: Fiammetta (speaker), Filostrato, Calandrino
Page Number: 669
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 10: Third Tale Quotes

Fear me not, then, and rest assured that in view of the loftiness of your motives, no other living person loves you as greatly as I, for you do not devote your energies to the accumulation of riches, as misers do, but to spending what you have amassed. Nor should you feel ashamed for having wanted to kill me to acquire fame, or imagine that I marvel to hear it. In order to extend their dominions, and hence their fame, the mightiest emperors and greatest kings have practiced virtually no other art than that of killing, not just one person as you intended, but countless thousands, setting whole provinces ablaze and razing whole cities to the ground.

Related Characters: Nathan (speaker), Filostrato, Mithridanes
Page Number: 716
Explanation and Analysis: