The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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French Princess Character Analysis

The wife of the French king’s son, the French Princess appears in Elissa’s second tale (II, 8). She relies on Walter’s guidance in her husband’s wartime absence and falls in love with him because she is young and lustful, providing another example of misogynistic medieval stereotypes about insatiable female sexuality. Her accusation of rape in the face of rejection recalls the Biblical story of Potiphar’s wife—frequently invoked in medieval literature—who accuses her husband’s servant, Joseph, under similar circumstances in the Book of Genesis (39:1-20). However, she becomes the agent of Walter’s good fortune when she confesses to her lies on her deathbed.

French Princess Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by French Princess or refer to French Princess. 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: Eighth Tale Quotes

Sweet friend and master, dearest one of all, since you are wise you will readily acknowledge that men and women are remarkably frail, and that, for a variety of reasons, some are frailer than others. It is therefore right and proper that before an impartial judge, people of different social rank should not be punished equally for committing an identical sin. For nobody would, I think, deny that if a member of the poorer classes, obliged to earn a living through manual toil, were to surrender blindly to the promptings of love, he or she would be far more culpable than a rich and leisured lady who lacked none of the necessary means to gratify her tiniest whim.

Related Characters: French Princess (speaker), Walter, Elissa
Page Number: 150
Explanation and Analysis:

But knowing her to be a woman of gentle birth, doing penance for another’s sin through no fault of her own, the Lord above, who rewards all according to their deserts, arranged matters otherwise. One must in fact conclude that He alone, out of His loving kindness, made possible the train of events which followed, in order to prevent this nobly-born maiden from falling into the hands of a commoner.

Related Symbols: Fortune
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Decameron PDF

French Princess Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character French Princess appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 2: Eighth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...a recent widower who has a son and a daughter. In her husband’s absence, the French Princess falls in love with him. (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
In her bedroom, the French Princess confesses her inability to escape love’s urges to Walter, both because of her husband’s extended... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
The French Princess ’s passion turns to rage. She tears her dress, musses her hair, and begins to... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...and Jacques. Walter joins Jacques’s contingent as a groom (someone who cares for horses). The French Princess , having fallen ill, makes a deathbed confession of her love for Walter and her... (full context)