The Decameron

The Decameron


Giovanni Boccaccio

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Franciscan Inquisitor Character Analysis

The Franciscan Inquisitor appears in Emilia’s first tale (I, 6), where he gives the Blasphemous Citizen excessive penance for a minor sin. Inquisitors were church officials charged with rooting out heretical (unorthodox) beliefs, but greed motivates the Franciscan Inquisitor at least as much as Christian doctrine. He thus engages in simony (selling church favors for money) and is a target of The Decameron’s ongoing anticlerical satire.
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Franciscan Inquisitor Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Franciscan Inquisitor appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 1: Sixth Tale
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Emilia relates the story of a Franciscan Inquisitor whose zeal is directed by his greed. A wealthy citizen boasted in a drunken state... (full context)
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...reduces his punishment to wearing a pilgrim’s badge, attending daily mass, and reporting to the Inquisitor about it. One day, the Citizen reports that he feels sorry for the Franciscan monks.... (full context)
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
While the other Franciscan friars sitting with the Inquisitor burst out laughing—understanding the Citizen’s mockery—the Inquisitor himself flies into a rage and is only... (full context)