The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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

Jealous Merchant’s Wife Character Analysis

In Fiammetta’s seventh tale (VII, 5), the Jealous Merchant’s Wife is a level-headed and clever woman who sees through the Jealous Merchant’s priestly disguise and turns his attempt to spy on her into a chance to conduct an affair with her neighbor Filippo. She reveals the “truth” to her husband, and while nothing that she says is technically wrong, it’s not fully true either, showing how the clever manipulation of words can be used to a person’s advantage.

Jealous Merchant’s Wife Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Jealous Merchant’s Wife or refer to Jealous Merchant’s Wife. 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 7: Fifth Tale Quotes

And so it was that the jealous wretch, having thought himself very clever in ferreting out his wife’s secret, saw that he had made an ass of himself. Without saying anything by way of reply, he began to look on his wife as a model of intelligence and virtue. And just as he had worn the mantle of the jealous husband when it was unnecessary, he cast it off completely now that his need for it was paramount. So his clever little wife, having, as it were, acquired a license to enjoy herself, no longer admitted her lover by way of the roof as though he were some kind of cat, but showed him in at the front door. And from that day forth, by proceeding with caution, she spent many an entertaining and delightful hour in his arms.

Related Characters: Fiammetta (speaker), Jealous Merchant, Jealous Merchant’s Wife
Page Number: 513
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Jealous Merchant’s Wife Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Jealous Merchant’s Wife appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 7: Fifth Tale
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...theme and offers another example of marital jealousy. In Rimini a Jealous Merchant loves the Jealous Merchant’s Wife so much that he imagines everyone else must love her, too. And because she tries... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Fortune favors the Jealous Merchant’s Wife , who finds and enlarges a crack that communicates between her house and the bedroom... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...suspicious, he disguises himself as a priest and waits for her in the chapel. The Jealous Merchant’s Wife recognizes him and vows to let him “get what he’s looking for.” She “confesses” that... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...rage, the Jealous Merchant returns home and tries (unsuccessfully) to conceal his feelings from the Jealous Merchant’s Wife . Telling her he is going out for supper and reminding her to lock the... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
The Jealous Merchant lies in wait (while the Jealous Merchant’s Wife and Filippo enjoy themselves) night after night until he can’t contain himself any longer. When... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...understand that his jealousy made him act ridiculously, and he starts to look at the Jealous Merchant’s Wife as the model of virtue and intelligence, coming to trust her implicitly. So, although she... (full context)