The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Francesco’s Wife Character Analysis

Francesco’s Wife appears alongside Francesco Vergellesi in Elissa’s third tale (III, 5). She demonstrates wifely obedience when Francesco orders her to listen but not respond to Zima’s impassioned statements of love. However, she ultimately allows herself to be swayed by the power of love and avoids wasting her youth on an absent husband, taking Zima as her lover. Thus, while she is still the object with which Zima is rewarded for his perseverance, she also demonstrates female sexual agency.

Francesco’s Wife Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Francesco’s Wife or refer to Francesco’s Wife. 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: Fifth Tale Quotes

Dearest beloved, since I am yours and you alone have the power to fortify my soul with some vestige of hope as I languish in the fiery flames of love, I beseech you, as your most humble servant, to show me some mercy and mitigate the harshness you have been wont to display towards me in the past. Your compassion will console me, enabling me to claim that it is to your beauty that I owe, not only my love, but also my very life, which will assuredly fail unless your proud spirit yields to my entreaties, and then indeed people will be able to say that you have killed me. Now, leaving aside the fact that my death would not enhance your reputation, I believe, also, that your conscience would occasionally trouble you and you would be sorry for having been the cause of it.

Related Characters: Zima (speaker), Francesco’s Wife, Francesco Vergellesi
Page Number: 224
Explanation and Analysis:
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Francesco’s Wife Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Francesco’s Wife appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 3: Fifth Tale
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...happens to belong to a man of humble birth called Zima (“The Dandy”). Zima loves Francesco’s Wife , and Francesco thinks he can leverage this to get the horse for free. (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...his wife. Francesco readily agrees but forbids his wife from replying in any way. Although Francesco’s Wife resents this arrangement, she has no choice but to comply. Taking her to the side,... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Previously, Francesco’s Wife has never appreciated Zima’s advances, but in listening to his speech, she is moved to... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
After Zima leaves Francesco’s Wife , he complains to Francesco that he may as well have been talking to a... (full context)