The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Masetto is a handsome, strong young peasant who is the protagonist of Filostrato’s third tale (III, 1). He disguises himself as a deaf-mute to infiltrate a convent, where he eventually becomes the lover of all the Young Nuns and their Abbess. He demonstrates the day’s theme—perseverance—by clinging to his deception until he gets the sexual satisfaction that he wants.

Masetto Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Masetto or refer to Masetto. 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 3: First Tale Quotes

Thus it was that Masetto, now an elderly and prosperous father who was spared the bother of feeding his children and the expense of their upbringing, returned to the place from which he had set out with an axe on his shoulder, having had the sense to employ his youth to good advantage. And this, he maintained, was the way that Christ treated anyone who set a pair of horns on His crown.

Related Characters: Filostrato (speaker), Masetto
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 3: Conclusion Quotes

“Now we shall discover whether the wolf can fare any better at leading the sheep than the sheep have fared in leading the wolves.”

On hearing this, Filostrato laughed and said: “Had you listened to me, the wolves would have taught the sheep by now to put the devil back in Hell, no less skillfully than Rustico taught Alibech. But you have not exactly been behaving like sheep, and therefore you must not describe us as wolves…”

“Allow me to tell you, Filostrato,” replied Neifile, “that if you men had tried to teach us anything of the sort, you might have learned some sense from us, as Masetto did from the nuns, and retrieved the use of your tongues when your bones were rattling from exhaustion.”

On perceiving that the ladies had as many scythes as he had arrows, Filostrato abandoned his jesting and turned to the business of ruling his kingdom.

Related Characters: Filostrato (speaker), Neifile (speaker), Rustico, Alibech, Young Nuns, Masetto
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Masetto Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Masetto appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 3: First Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...their Abbess live. When their gardener quits, he complains to a handsome young peasant named Masetto that the pay was terrible and that the nuns tended to yell at him. Masetto,... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Masetto plans to tend more than one kind of garden, and because the Abbess thinks he’s... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
One day, two of the Young Nuns stumble on Masetto pretending to sleep in the garden. The first one, having heard about the pleasures of... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...Nuns eventually discover these goings-on and join the fun, as does the Abbess, who requires Masetto to indulge her with the pleasure she used to condemn most fiercely.  (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Eventually, Masetto becomes so exhausted that he drops the ruse. One night, he “miraculously” recovers his speech... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Luckily the steward just died, so the Abbess reports Masetto’s miraculous healing to the neighborhood, appoints him the next steward, and he lives at the... (full context)
Day 3: Conclusion
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
...have taken a page from the Young Nuns in his story and exhausted them like Masetto. Realizing that Neifile’s wit matches his own, Filostrato abandons his jibes and turns to business. (full context)