The Decameron

The Decameron


Giovanni Boccaccio

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Monna Isabetta Character Analysis

Monna Isabetta is Friar Puccio’s young and beautiful wife in Panfilo’s third tale (III, 4). Her sexual needs are unsatisfied by her pious older husband, so she readily accepts Dom Felice as her lover. She also demonstrates quick wit when she’s able to convince her husband that she is piously fasting while she’s actually having sex with Felice.

Monna Isabetta Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Monna Isabetta or refer to Monna Isabetta. 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: Fourth Tale Quotes

Friar Puccio thought he could detect a certain amount of vibration in the floorboards. When […] he had recited a hundred of his paternosters […] without leaving his post, he called out to his wife and demanded to know what she was doing.

His wife […] who at that moment was possibly riding bareback astride the nag of Saint Benedict or Saint John Gaulbert, replied:

‘Heaven help me, dear husband, I am shaking like mad.’

‘Shaking? … What is the meaning of all this shaking?’

His wife shrieked with laughter […] ‘What,’ she replied, ‘You don’t know its meaning? Haven’t I heard you saying, hundreds of times: “He that supper doth not take, in his bed all night will shake”?’


‘Wife,’ he replied […] ‘I told you not to fast, but you would insist. Try not to think about it. Try and go to sleep.’

Related Characters: Panfilo (speaker), Friar Puccio, Monna Isabetta, Dom Felice
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Decameron PDF

Monna Isabetta Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Monna Isabetta appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 3: Fourth Tale
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon fasting and performing self-discipline that may include flagellation. However, his young and pretty wife, Isabetta, suffers from his strict regimen, which frequently entails offering her a sermon when she would... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Dom Felice soon notices Isabetta and, with meaningful looks, kindles her desire. But they’re prevented from acting on them because... (full context)
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Friar Puccio plans to start as soon as possible. When he explains the plan to Isabetta, she endorses it and agrees to join him in fasting. During Puccio’s long penance, Dom... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...Dom Puccio thinks he hears something through the wall, so he calls out to ask Isabetta what’s happening. Isabetta, maintaining her presence of mind even while riding Dom Felice, calls back... (full context)