The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Mithridanes is the antagonist of Filostrato’s tenth tale (X, 3) in contrast to the generous Nathan. Mithridanes is younger than Nathan and, like Melissus (IX, 9), wishes to become famous for his generosity and outshine his competitor. When Nathan shows that he’s willing to give up his very life, Mithridanes learns that generosity should be its own end, not a way to achieve fame, and he becomes a better person.

Mithridanes Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Mithridanes or refer to Mithridanes. 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 10: Third Tale Quotes

Fear me not, then, and rest assured that in view of the loftiness of your motives, no other living person loves you as greatly as I, for you do not devote your energies to the accumulation of riches, as misers do, but to spending what you have amassed. Nor should you feel ashamed for having wanted to kill me to acquire fame, or imagine that I marvel to hear it. In order to extend their dominions, and hence their fame, the mightiest emperors and greatest kings have practiced virtually no other art than that of killing, not just one person as you intended, but countless thousands, setting whole provinces ablaze and razing whole cities to the ground.

Related Characters: Nathan (speaker), Mithridanes, Filostrato
Page Number: 716
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Decameron PDF

Mithridanes Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Mithridanes appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 10: Third Tale
Class and Character Theme Icon
...a most festive and agreeable manner.” When he is already old, another wealthy noble named Mithridanes resolves to “nullify or darken” Nathan’s reputation by making a “display of greater liberality.” He... (full context)
Class and Character Theme Icon
...palace several times, through different gates, begging for alms each time. After her twelfth entry, Mithridanes comments on her persistence as he gives her alms. She compares his stinginess to Nathan’s... (full context)
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Mithridanes travels to Nathan’s palace. When he encounters his rival, he doesn’t recognize him. Nathan is... (full context)
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Although Mithridanes’s murderous intentions unsettle Nathan, he is courageous and appreciative of the younger man’s envy, since... (full context)
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
In the morning, while Nathan walks in the wood, Mithridanes rushes on him. When he exclaims that the hour of his death has come, Nathan... (full context)
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Nathan embraces Mithridanes and says that he loves him for spending his wealth generously. He even forgives the... (full context)
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
But instead of murdering him, Mithridanes now wishes he could add years to Nathan’s life. Nathan, always the giver, would refuse... (full context)