The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Friar Alberto Character Analysis

In Pampinea’s fourth tale (IV, 2), Friar Alberto is the name assumed by Berto della Massa after his crooked reputation forces him to flee his hometown and assume a false identity in Venice. As Friar Alberto he develops a holy reputation that earns him the love and trust of many Venetians. Young, attractive, and virile, he also has a taste for the ladies, but he ends up as one of the day’s unlucky lovers when Lisetta’s in-laws discover the affair. He thus demonstrates the day’s theme while also contributing to The Decameron’s anticlerical satire by showing how manipulative religious figures can take advantage of gullible people.
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Friar Alberto Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Friar Alberto appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 4: Second Tale
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...to Venice pretending to be a holy man, then joins the Franciscans under the name Friar Alberto . Friar Alberto seems to live a holy life and preaches about repentance and abstinence,... (full context)
Intelligence Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
His tears and holy reputation convince many Venetians to trust Friar Alberto with their souls and their worldly goods. One of these credulous Venetians is the wife... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Realizing that Monna Lisetta is easy prey because she’s not bright, Friar Alberto falls in love with her. He chastises her vanity, greatly offending her. But a few... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...to accept if the angel promises not to leave her for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Friar Alberto humbly suggests that she ask the angel to use his body as a vehicle, while... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...with her head held so high that “her smock rose clear of her bottom.” Meanwhile, Friar Alberto eats meat and other delicacies to ensure an adequate performance in bed. After dark, he... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
The next day, Monna Lisetta visits Friar Alberto , who claims to have no idea what happened to his body while his soul... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Monna Lisetta’s brothers-in-law lay in wait to catch her lover, and the next time Friar Alberto stops by they are pounding at the door as he takes his clothes off. He... (full context)
Class and Character Theme Icon
...previous night. Putting two and two together, he demands a large sum of money from Friar Alberto for his silence, then offers to smuggle him out of town in disguise, since there’s... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
The Honest Man smears Friar Alberto with honey, covers him with feathers, gives him a mask and a club, and chains... (full context)