The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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In Emilia’s ninth tale (IX, 9), Joseph is a man who is married to the stubborn and disobedient Joseph’s Wife. He befriends Melissus on the way to Jerusalem to ask Solomon how to improve her manners and learns that the problem is he hasn’t been beating her enough. He illustrates how a husband who exercises insufficient authority can lead to a recalcitrant wife and learns to control her through violence.
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The Decameron PDF

Joseph Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Joseph appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 9: Ninth Tale
Men and Women Theme Icon
...lavishly but has no friends, wants to know what he must do to be loved. Joseph wants to know what to do with his “most perverse and stubborn” wife, since his... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
...frightened, refuses to go forward. The driver begins to beat it “quite unmercifully,” and when Joseph and Melissus ask why he can’t lead it gently, he retorts “I know my mule…Just... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Joseph invites Melissus to stay with him for a few days on his way home, and... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
The next morning, when Joseph’s Wife asks what Joseph would like for breakfast, she follows his and Melissus’s instructions exactly.... (full context)