The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Iphigenia Character Analysis

In Panfilo’s fifth tale (V, 1), Iphigenia is Cimon’s love interest, even though she is betrothed to Pasimondas of Rhodes. She represents the power of female beauty by which Cimon is ennobled, and she is his reward for becoming a gentleman. However, her tale doesn’t reveal whether she loves either Pasimondas or Cimon in return, leaving her own wishes unexpressed.

Iphigenia Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Iphigenia or refer to Iphigenia. 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 5: First Tale Quotes

On catching sight of this vision, Cimon stopped dead in his tracks, and […] began to stare at her, rapt in silent admiration, as though he had never before set eyes upon the female form. And deep within his uncouth breast, which despite a thousand promptings had remained closed to every vestige of refined sentiment, he sensed the awakening of a certain feeling which told his crude, uncultured mind that this girl was the loveliest object that any mortal being had ever seen […] Having suddenly been transformed from a country bumpkin into a connoisseur of beauty, he longed to be able to see her eyes, but they were closed in heavy slumber.

Related Characters: Panfilo (speaker), Cimon, Iphigenia
Page Number: 358
Explanation and Analysis:

Leaving the house full of blood, tumult, tears, and sadness, they made their way unimpeded to the ship, keeping close together and carrying their spoils before them. Having handed the ladies aboard, Cimon and Lysimachus followed with their comrades just as the shore began to fill with men who were coming to the rescue of the two ladies. But they plied their oars with a will, and made good their escape.

Related Characters: Panfilo (speaker), Cimon, Lysimachus, Iphigenia, Cassandra, Pasimondas, Ormisdas
Page Number: 378
Explanation and Analysis:
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Iphigenia Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Iphigenia appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 5: First Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...had been so resistant to education and improvement. Cimon thinks this woman (later identified as Iphigenia) is the “loveliest object that any mortal being had ever seen.” He thinks about rousing... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Waking to discover a man staring at her, an astonished Iphigenia recognizes Cimon. His reputation precedes him, and his staring makes her worry that he might... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Cimon’s previously impenetrable heart, having been pierced by Love’s arrows, is so roused by Iphigenia’s beauty that he undergoes a complete transformation. He starts wearing nice clothes, associating with other... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...man,” encourages Cimon to “taste Love’s pleasures to the full.” But Cimon refuses to approach Iphigenia dishonorably, instead repeatedly asking her father for permission to marry her. But her family has... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Cimon and his men overtake Iphigenia’s ship, and Love inspires him to act with vigor and bravery. The sailors soon surrender,... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Within a few hours, a violent storm blows the ship off course. Iphigenia blames Cimon, believing it’s divine punishment for kidnapping or for trying to marry her against... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Cimon is imprisoned while the Rhodian noblewomen comfort Iphigenia and prepare for her wedding. Pasimondas wants Cimon to be executed, but he receives a... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...to an extraordinarily brave and noble man, laying out the similarity of their situations regarding Iphigenia and Cassandra, and promising Cimon the restoration of his liberty and his lady in exchange... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...Then, executing their plan with military precision, they enter the brothers’ house and carry off Iphigenia and Cassandra (crying and screaming), and murder Pasimondas and Ormisdas. Leaving the house full of... (full context)