The Decameron

The Decameron


Giovanni Boccaccio

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Decameron can help.

Girolamo’s Mother Character Analysis

In Neifile’s fourth tale (IV, 8), Girolamo’s mother’s class consciousness makes her reject Girolamo’s love for the lowly Salvestra. When chiding and punishment fail, she resorts to subterfuge to send him away without breaking his heart. Neifile claims that Love is impervious to advice or interference at the beginning of the tale, and the failure of Girolamo’s mother to end his love illustrates this. She also demonstrates an arrogant belief that she knows more than Nature in her attempts to change the course of her son’s feelings.

Girolamo’s Mother Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Girolamo’s Mother or refer to Girolamo’s Mother. 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 4: Eighth Tale Quotes

Excellent ladies, to my way of thinking there are those who imagine that they know more than others when in fact they know less, and hence they presume to set this wisdom of theirs against not only the counsels of their fellow men, but also the laws of Nature…Now, there is nothing in the whole of Nature which is less susceptible to advice or interference than Love, whose qualities are such that it is far more likely to burn itself out of its own free will than to be quenched by deliberate pressure. [So I will] tell you a story about a lady who … sought to be wiser than she actually was, and by flaunting her cleverness in a matter that was beyond her competence, succeeded at one and the same time in driving both Love and life from the body of her son.

Related Characters: Neifile (speaker), Girolamo’s Mother, Girolamo, Salvestra
Page Number: 342-343
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Girolamo’s Mother Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Girolamo’s Mother appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 4: Eighth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...falls in love with a neighborhood girl. Salvestra is the daughter of a tailor, and Girolamo’s Mother scolds him for his inappropriate affection. Afraid that he will marry the poor girl secretly,... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...try to send him to Paris to oversee business affairs there, but he categorically refuses. Girolamo’s Mother is livid, but she eventually gets him to agree to go for just one year,... (full context)