Paolo’s Daughter appears, along with her father, Paolo Traversari, and her admirer, Nastagio degli Onesti, in Filomena’s fifth tale (V, 8). Filomena implies that her pride and vanity make her spurn Nastagio’s attentions, but when he shows her a vision of the terrifying punishment another “cruel” lady receives for not returning a man’s love, she’s frightened enough to put herself at Nastagio’s disposal and to accept his proposal of marriage. She is thus an example of the medieval stereotype of the “cruel” lady reformed.
Paolo’s Daughter Character Timeline in The Decameron
The timeline below shows where the character Paolo’s Daughter appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 5: Eighth Tale
...the daughter of Paolo Traversari, whose lineage is more noble than his own. Nastagio woos Paolo’s Daughter with “considerable, and splendid, and laudable” deeds, but she is “persistently cruel, harsh, and unfriendly... (full context)
One May morning, Nastagio degli Onesti wanders the woods, lost in thought about Paolo’s Daughter ’s cruelty. Suddenly, he hears screams; soon he sees a naked woman running through the... (full context)
...how useful this apparition can be. He has friends invite Paolo Traversari and his family—including Paolo’s Daughter —to breakfast in the woods with him on the following Friday. The tables are arranged... (full context)