The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Melchizedek Character Analysis

Melchizedek appears in Filomena’s first tale. He is an extremely wealthy Jewish moneylender living in Egypt under Saladin. Saladin’s belief that Melchizedek won’t willingly lend money aligns him with the medieval stereotype of the miserly usurer. But he also represents the “wise Jew” that was popular in medieval literature, and his wit and quick thinking ultimately earn him Saladin’s respect and friendship.
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Melchizedek Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Melchizedek appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 1: Third Tale
Intelligence Theme Icon
...successful empire, needs some quick cash. He turns to an unfortunately tightfisted Jewish moneylender named Melchizedek. Saladin doesn’t want to take his money by force, so he covers his motives with... (full context)
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Melchizedek sees that Saladin is trying to bait him into an argument, but he is wise... (full context)
Intelligence Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Likewise, Melchizedek tells Saladin, Jews, Christians, and Muslims all think that they possess the correct laws and... (full context)