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.
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
...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)
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)