The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Decameron: Day 4: Conclusion Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Dioneo’s merry story dispels the day’s melancholy. As the sun sets, Filostrato apologizes handsomely for picking such a disagreeable topic. He then places the crown on the blonde head of the incredibly beautiful Fiammetta. To truly teach Filostrato the error of his ways, Fiammetta declares that the next day’s topic will be lovers who survived misfortune and calamity and lived happily in the end.
As the day’s tales draw to an end, Filostrato gallantly apologizes for forcing such an unpleasant theme on the company. In doing so, he rehabilitates himself in their eyes and demonstrates that he has a truly noble character. His frustrated affections for his unnamed lady incline him towards melancholy and anger, demonstrating love’s power, but now he reasserts self-control. Fiammetta signals the restoration of balance by decreeing the next theme to be happy lovers.
Themes
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
The men and ladies entertain themselves in the endlessly beautiful garden. After supper, so that his sad woes will blight no further days, Fiammetta asks Filostrato to sing a song. He sings a lament complaining about the cruelty of the singer’s lady, who spurns his advances. The song’s lover wishes for death to end his suffering. The song obviously illustrates Filostrato’s feelings, and if the light were better, the ashamed blushes of the guilty lady might have further enlightened the company.
Despite the horrors of the world and the tragic theme of the day’s tales, the garden continues to provide a place of rest and rejuvenation for the members of the brigata. Although Filostrato’s love interest isn't ever identified in the book, because Giovanni Boccaccio dedicated an earlier work called Il Filostrato to a “Filomena,” it’s generally accepted that she is the “guilty party” who should be blushing to hear about the terrible pain she’s caused Filostrato. In this context, it’s interesting to note that Filomena will sing her own song, which seems to indicate that she has a newfound love interest, at the end of Day 7.
Themes
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon