The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Zinerva (Sicurano da Finale) Character Analysis

Zinerva appears in Filomena’s second tale (II, 9) as Bernabò’s clever and honest wife. She is a paragon of virtue and chastity. Her distinguishing mark is a mole below her left breast. When Bernabò tries to have her murdered, she disguises herself as a man, Sicurano da Finale, and escapes to the sea. Eventually, she enters the service of the Sultan of Alexandria, where her inherently noble character allows her to gain his trust. Although she is a victim of fortune in being the object of her husband’s bet and Ambrogiuolo’s lies, her own natural intelligence and virtue eventually see her good fortune and domestic stability restored.
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Zinerva (Sicurano da Finale) Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Zinerva (Sicurano da Finale) appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 2: Ninth Tale
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...feet” either. Only one, Bernabò Lomellin, disagrees. He believes that his wife (whose name is Zinerva) is without equal: she is beautiful, excellent at handicrafts, a “paragon of intelligence and good... (full context)
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...since horns don’t actually sprout on adulterers’ heads. He boasts that he could easily seduce Zinerva. Bernabò puts money against that claim, and the two men formalize their bet with a... (full context)
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In Genoa, Ambrogiuolo learns (to his dismay) that Zinerva is as upright as Bernabò claimed. Winning the bet will require trickery, so he befriends... (full context)
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After the old woman retrieves the chest, Ambrogiuolo hurries to Paris where he describes Zinerva’s bedroom and displays his prizes to Bernabò, who demands more proof, since anyone could get... (full context)
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Luckily, quick-thinking Zinerva convinces the servant to spare her life. Disguised as a man, she runs away while... (full context)
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Because Sicurano (Zinerva) can speak the language of Christian merchants, the Sultan sends him to the Acre trade... (full context)
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 Zinerva—still disguised as Sicurano—befriends Ambrogiuolo, convincing him to go to Alexandria with the promise of a... (full context)
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Still in her disguise, Zinerva turns on Bernabò and demands to know what he did after hearing falsehoods about his... (full context)
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The Sultan of Alexandria, recovering from his shock, praises Zinerva’s virtue and strength of character, and he immediately gives her gifts of fine clothes and... (full context)