Golden Cup in Decameron

Step 7 of 7

The human heart

Then we are still left with the analysis of the removal of Guiscardo’s heart.

In a feudal context this was an act of revengeGiovanni Boccaccio, Decameron. Edited by Amedeo Quondam, Maurizio Fiorilla and Giancarlo Alfano (Milano: Mondadori Libri S.p.A., 2020), p. 780, n. 13. , which returns for example in the ninth novella of the same day: the heart of an adulterer is served to the woman he had an affair with, after which she commits suicide. In the eighth novella of the fifth day a heart is torn out as well (multiple times, at a matter of fact), because of the cruelty the lady in this story displayed to her lover. Besides this function of revenge, the act makes it very clear that the heart is the place where Love resides.Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron. Edited by Amedeo Quondam, Maurizio Fiorilla and Giancarlo Alfano (Milano: Mondadori Libri S.p.A., 2020), p. 710, n. 46. It is significant in Ghismunda’s case, because she receives the heart of her beloved, in which he received her image before they began their romance.Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron. Edited by Amedeo Quondam, Maurizio Fiorilla and Giancarlo Alfano (Milano: Mondadori Libri S.p.A., 2020), p. 664

Before you are off to another literary object in the Decameron, you might find it interesting to read more about this novella in relation to other novellas in the Decameron. If so, press the button below.

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