Based on a historical 12th-century king of Sicily, William the Second appears in Elissa’s fourth tale (IV, 4) as Gerbino’s grandfather. When Gerbino fails to respect the official promise William gave the King of Tunis regarding the Tunisian Princess’s wedding, he executes his grandson and heir rather than lose his reputation as a ruler who keeps his word.
William the Second Character Timeline in The Decameron
The timeline below shows where the character William the Second appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 4: Fourth Tale
...and that no one can fall in love with someone based on their reputation. When William the Second of Sicily’s son dies before him, he raises his grandson, Gerbino, as his heir apparent.... (full context)
...Grenada, greatly distressing the lovers. Somehow, he knows enough about Gerbino’s devotion to ask King William the Second for assurances that he won’t interfere with the wedding plans. The King sends a glove... (full context)
...promising all the plunder to his crew. When he announces himself, the officers wave King William the Second ’s glove and make it clear that they won’t surrender without a fight. Quipping that... (full context)
...When her father hears what has happened, he protests the breach of promise to King William the Second , who arrests Gerbino, sentences him to death, and has him immediately beheaded rather than... (full context)
Day 5: Seventh Tale