The Decameron

The Decameron


Giovanni Boccaccio

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Cuckold Term Analysis

Cuckold is an antiquated term for a man whose wife is unfaithful; it is also used as a verb to indicate the act of an unfaithful wife cheating on her husband. In the medieval imagination, cuckolds were often pictured with horns on their heads.

Cuckold Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Cuckold or refer to Cuckold. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Day 3: First Tale Quotes

Thus it was that Masetto, now an elderly and prosperous father who was spared the bother of feeding his children and the expense of their upbringing, returned to the place from which he had set out with an axe on his shoulder, having had the sense to employ his youth to good advantage. And this, he maintained, was the way that Christ treated anyone who set a pair of horns on His crown.

Related Characters: Filostrato (speaker), Masetto
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
Day 7: Fifth Tale Quotes

And so it was that the jealous wretch, having thought himself very clever in ferreting out his wife’s secret, saw that he had made an ass of himself. Without saying anything by way of reply, he began to look on his wife as a model of intelligence and virtue. And just as he had worn the mantle of the jealous husband when it was unnecessary, he cast it off completely now that his need for it was paramount. So his clever little wife, having, as it were, acquired a license to enjoy herself, no longer admitted her lover by way of the roof as though he were some kind of cat, but showed him in at the front door. And from that day forth, by proceeding with caution, she spent many an entertaining and delightful hour in his arms.

Related Characters: Fiammetta (speaker), Jealous Merchant, Jealous Merchant’s Wife
Page Number: 513
Explanation and Analysis:
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Cuckold Term Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the term Cuckold appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 3: First Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Faith vs. Religion Theme Icon
...rewarded with peace and prosperity for setting a pair of horns on Christ’s head by cuckolding him. (full context)