The Decameron

The Decameron


Giovanni Boccaccio

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Madonna Oretta Character Analysis

Madonna Oretta appears in Filomena’s sixth tale (VI, 1). A Florentine noblewoman with a reputation for conversational wit and good breeding, she exemplifies these traits when she gently teases a knight for telling her a good story badly. She is also the wife of Geri Spina, who appears in another tale (VI, 2).

Madonna Oretta Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Madonna Oretta or refer to Madonna Oretta. 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 6: First Tale Quotes

Whereupon this worthy knight, whose swordplay was doubtless on par with his storytelling, began to recite his tale, which in itself was indeed excellent. But by constantly repeating the same phrases, and recapitulating sections of the plot, and every so often declaring that he had ‘made a mess of that bit,’ and regularly confusing the characters, he ruined it completely. Moreover, his mode of delivery was completely out of keeping with the characters and the incidents he was describing, so that it was painful for Madonna Oretta to listen to him. She began to perspire freely, and her heart missed several beats, as though she had fallen ill and was about to give up the ghost.

Related Characters: Filomena (speaker), Madonna Oretta
Page Number: 447
Explanation and Analysis:
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Madonna Oretta Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Madonna Oretta appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 6: First Tale
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Most of the company probably knows—personally or by reputation—their fellow Florentine, Madonna Oretta. The wife of Geri Spina has a “silver tongue,” and the excellent character that comes... (full context)
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...repeated plot points, and asides about his lack of skill. His terrible performance makes Madonna Oretta feel physically ill. She interrupts him, noting that his “horse” trots very jerkily, and she... (full context)