The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Walter, Count of Antwerp, appears in Elissa’s second tale (II, 8). He is handsome, generous, noble, and recently widowed. The French Princess falls in love with him, then accuses him of rape when he refuses her advances, forcing him to flee France with his children Violante (Jeannette) and Louis (Perrot). His noble character helps him to accept his bad fortune with patience, and he spends many years working as a servant and groom in Ireland and England. He maintains his pride and his character no matter what he’s lost and is ultimately restored and elevated.

Walter Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Walter or refer to Walter. 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 2: Eighth Tale Quotes

Sweet friend and master, dearest one of all, since you are wise you will readily acknowledge that men and women are remarkably frail, and that, for a variety of reasons, some are frailer than others. It is therefore right and proper that before an impartial judge, people of different social rank should not be punished equally for committing an identical sin. For nobody would, I think, deny that if a member of the poorer classes, obliged to earn a living through manual toil, were to surrender blindly to the promptings of love, he or she would be far more culpable than a rich and leisured lady who lacked none of the necessary means to gratify her tiniest whim.

Related Characters: French Princess (speaker), Walter, Elissa
Page Number: 150
Explanation and Analysis:

But knowing her to be a woman of gentle birth, doing penance for another’s sin through no fault of her own, the Lord above, who rewards all according to their deserts, arranged matters otherwise. One must in fact conclude that He alone, out of His loving kindness, made possible the train of events which followed, in order to prevent this nobly-born maiden from falling into the hands of a commoner.

Related Symbols: Fortune
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Walter Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Walter appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 2: Eighth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
The French king and his son mobilize their forces and go to war, leaving Walter, Count of Antwerp, to oversee the kingdom. Walter is a noble, intelligent man who’s skilled... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
In her bedroom, the French Princess confesses her inability to escape love’s urges to Walter, both because of her husband’s extended absence and because she doesn’t have enough to occupy... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...passion turns to rage. She tears her dress, musses her hair, and begins to accuse Walter of trying to rape her. His conscience is clear, but Walter worries that envious courtiers... (full context)
Class and Character Theme Icon
Dressed in rags, Walter and his children reach London. To protect their identities, he begins to call his son... (full context)
Class and Character Theme Icon
After 18 years, Walter decides to check on his children and returns to England. Age, labor, and hardship have... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
...English king sends an army to his aid under the command of Perrot and Jacques. Walter joins Jacques’s contingent as a groom (someone who cares for horses). The French Princess, having... (full context)
Class and Character Theme Icon
Walter reveals the truth of his identity—and his children’s—to Perrot and Jacques. He tells Perrot that... (full context)
Class and Character Theme Icon
Jacques presents Walter and Perrot to the king, claiming the great reward, and the king gives Walter the... (full context)