In Dioneo’s fourth tale (IV, 10), Mazzeo della Montagna marries Mazzeo’s Wife. Because she is young, pretty, and high-spirited, she is disappointed by his sexual inadequacies and takes Ruggieri d’Aieroli as her lover. In this way, she fulfills the misogynistic medieval stereotype of women’s excessive sexual appetites. But she also demonstrates the quick intelligence celebrated in The Decameron’s characters when she and her Trusted Maid handle the apparent death of her lover in the house and his subsequent arrest for a crime he didn’t commit.
Mazzeo’s Wife Character Timeline in The Decameron
The timeline below shows where the character Mazzeo’s Wife appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 4: Tenth Tale
...that so many days are necessary to recover from making love to a woman. Frustrated, Mazzeo’s Wife decides to protect her husband’s family jewels by polishing someone else’s. She settles on Ruggieri... (full context)
News of Ruggieri d’Aieroli’s arrest spreads quickly through Salerno, much to the astonishment of Mazzeo’s Wife and the Trusted Maid, who were sure that he was dead. They start to suspect... (full context)
...testimony, and after hearing all the evidence, he finds Ruggieri innocent. Ruggieri, the Maid, and Mazzeo’s Wife have many a laugh about the story, and their love continues to flourish. (full context)