The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Ricciardo di Chinzica Character Analysis

Ricciardo di Chinzica appears in Dioneo’s second tale (II, 10). He is an older man and a well-established lawyer when he marries the young and vivacious Bartolomea. His advanced age means that he can’t satisfy her sexual desires, however, so he tries to hide his poor performance behind an extensive list of days on which church law forbids sexual activity. His age, poor sexual performance, and jealous guarding of Bartolomea place him in the medieval literary stereotype of the senex amans, or old lover. He demonstrates his fundamental misappraisal of female sexuality when he believes that Bartolomea’s honor would be more important to her than the sexual satisfaction she has with Paganino.
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Ricciardo di Chinzica Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Ricciardo di Chinzica appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 2: Tenth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
In Pisa, a wealthy judge named Ricciardo di Chinzica wants a young, beautiful wife, even though he’s brainy, not brawny. His wife,... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
One hot day, Ricciardo takes Bartolomea and some of her lady-friends on a fishing expedition. They are surprised by... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...Bartolomea enjoys his effective (and continual!) consolations, and Paganino treats her like his wife. When Ricciardo discovers they’re living together in Monaco, he goes there to pay whatever ransom is necessary... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Paganino and Ricciardo agree that if Paganino’s lover recognizes Ricciardo, Paganino will hand her over. Ricciardo, confident that... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Thinking Bartolomea may be afraid of Paganino, Ricciardo asks to speak to her alone. Bartolomea finally admits that she knows Ricciardo but accuses... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
Ricciardo can’t understand why Bartolomea would rather live as Paganino’s whore than as his wife, casting... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Realizing the foolishness of an impotent man taking a young wife, Ricciardo returns to Pisa, goes mad, and wanders the streets saying, “there’s no rest for the... (full context)
Day 4: Tenth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Like Ricciardo di Chinzica (from Dioneo’s story on the second day), who used a calendar of saint’s... (full context)