The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Martellino Character Analysis

Martellino appears in Neifile’s tale (II, 1) as a fictionalized version of a real Florentine clown. He visits Treviso with Marchese and Stecchi, pretends to be paralyzed to get close to Arrigo’s body, then pretends to be miraculously healed. He’s thus one of many figures in The Decameron who plays tricks and pranks. He’s also fortune’s plaything: he’s beaten by an angry mob for his alleged mockery of their saint, tortured, and nearly executed before his friends and Sandro Agolanti secure his release.

Martellino Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Martellino or refer to Martellino. 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 2: First Tale Quotes

Meanwhile, with the matter proceeding along these lines, word had reached Marchese and Stecchi that the judge was giving him a rough handling and had already put him on the strappado. “We have made a fine mess of things,” they said, shaking with fright. “We have taken him out of the frying-pan and dropped him straight in the fire.” Being determined to leave no stone unturned, they tracked down their landlord, and explained to him what had happened. The landlord, who was highly amused at their tale, took them to see a man called Sandro Agolanti, a Florentine living in Treviso who had considerable influence with the ruler of the city.

Related Characters: Neifile (speaker), Martellino, Marchese, Stecchi, Sandro Agolanti
Related Symbols: Fortune
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Martellino Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Martellino appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 2: First Tale
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...they flock to the cathedral where his body lies, hoping for miracles. Three Florentine entertainers—Stecchi, Martellino, and Marchese—arrive during this uproar. The cathedral is so crowded that they must use subterfuge... (full context)
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
In the cathedral, Stecchi and Marchese lay Martellino on the saint’s body. After a few minutes, he dramatically pretends to be healed. When... (full context)
Class and Character Theme Icon
The harsh judge, angered by Martellino’s attitude, tortures him to obtain confession. But Martellino can’t confess to crimes he’s accused of... (full context)