The Decameron

The Decameron


Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Decameron: Day 7: Conclusion Summary & Analysis

As the day’s stories end and the sun sets, Dioneo places the crown on Lauretta’s head. She wants to hear more stories about the tricks that both men and women play on each other in general. The members of the company pass the time before dinner as they please; Dioneo and Fiammetta sing about Palamon and Arcite. They return to the palace before dark for refreshments and dancing.
The song that Dioneo and Fiammetta sing draws from the plot of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Teseida, which was composed about a decade before The Decameron. This isn’t the first time that the author has snuck a reference to his other works into this book: another example can be found in the introduction to Day VI, when Dioneo and Lauretta sing about Troilus and Criseyde.
Men and Women Theme Icon
Filomena sings a song in which a lover is separated from her beloved. She describes how this causes her to feel both sleeplessness and great physical desire, and wonders when she will “kiss those eyes that have so murdered” her. She longs for her lover to return and ease her pain, and she swears that if she holds him again, she will never let him go. Because some of the lines suggest that she has “gone beyond the mere exchange of amorous glances,” some of Filomena’s companions are envious of her experience.
As usual, the songs at the end of each day, no matter what the day’s theme has been, bring the story back to the traditional setting and themes of fin’amors (refined loving). These songs thus emphasize the power of love over the actions of individuals while also demonstrating the central position of love to the organization and themes of the book. This is also one of a very few moments that suggest that the members of the brigata may have enjoyed the illicit pleasures their stories describe. This subtly contradicts, or at least calls into question, Dioneo’s declaration at the end of Day 10 that none of them have engaged in any untoward behavior, since they, too, are human and subject to the power of love.
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
When Filomena is done singing, Lauretta reminds the company that the next day is Friday and suggests that they observe the weekend in the same way they did before (as described at the end of the second day). Everyone commends her devout intention, and they part for the evening.
Not only does the brigata form in a church after prayers, but they twice interrupt their storytelling so that they can observe the religious practices surrounding Sunday church services. They thus exhibit the piety and faithfulness that’s praised in The Decameron, without engaging in the hypocritical posturing and legalism that it generally criticizes.
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