The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Impoverished Noblewoman Character Analysis

The Impoverished Noblewoman is the mother of Bertrand’s love interest in Neifile’s third tale (III, 9). Although she has fallen on hard times, she recognizes Gilette’s inherent nobility of spirit and the unfairness of her situation as a repudiated wife, so she risks her daughter’s reputation to help Gilette win her husband over. Along with Gilette, she shows that nobility has nothing to do with accidents of fortune such as birth or wealth, but rather with one’s character.
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Impoverished Noblewoman Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Impoverished Noblewoman appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 3: Ninth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...has fallen into poverty but still protects her daughter’s honor. Gilette ingratiates herself with the Impoverished Noblewoman , promising that if they work together, they can overcome their ill fortune and be... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Gilette wants the Impoverished Noblewoman to send a messenger to Bertrand saying that her daughter is ready to become his... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Bertrand falls for their plan, and contentedly sleeps with Gilette—thinking her to be the Impoverished Noblewoman ’s daughter—many times. Once she realizes that she’s become pregnant, Gilette gives the Noblewoman a... (full context)