The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Decameron: Day 2: Conclusion Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Everyone laughs until their sides ache. They agree with Dioneo that Bernabò was foolish to trust his wife. Once the laughter dies down, Filomena crowns Neifile as the next day’s sovereign. Her modesty—she blushes and lowers her eyes—only makes her more beautiful. She suggests a pause in the storytelling until Sunday afternoon, given Friday and Saturday’s customary fasts and the ladies’ custom of bathing on Saturdays. She proposes moving to a new place to avoid others before setting the next theme: people who, through hard work and perseverance, achieve a desired object or recover a lost one.
The members of the brigata appreciate the humor in Dioneo’s story, and because he told it so well, they’re inclined to agree with him that Ricciardo finds himself in a likelier situation than Bernabò—in other words, that women are more likely to be unfaithful than steadfast. Good storytelling here, as in the rest of the tales, makes a story’s moral (when there is one) convincing. As the day draws to a close, Filomena elects the next sovereign, reinforcing the order and balance by which they live their lives in the countryside. Neifile’s suggestion to resume storytelling after the weekend is another example of this order—the company maintains the weekly religious observances—and points to the Christian context in which the book is situated. In this way, she reasserts order and traditional morality among the company, who are neither allowed nor interested in the excesses enjoyed by the characters in their tales. 
Themes
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
The company whiles away the time before supper in the garden and then eats with laughter and merriment. After the meal, they dance while Pampinea sings a song about love, which brings joy and hope as much as it causes pain and suffering. When two people love each other mutually, nothing could be better.
The company enjoys aristocratic pursuits and entertainments on this day, untouched by the chaos raging in plague-ridden Florence or the fortune-tossed lives of the tales’ characters. Pampinea’s song emphasizes the characteristics of fin’amors (refined loving) but also picks up on the theme of satisfied lovers that popped up throughout the day in the relationships of Alessandro and the Abbot in White; Guisfredi and Spina; Jacques and Jeannette; and Paganino and Bartolomea. Notably, when love is mutual—that is, in balance—it is the most satisfying, reminding readers of the ongoing importance of balance and moderation to the book’s worldview.
Themes
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Quotes