ANALYSIS OF BOCCACCIO’S DECAMERON: STORIES ABOUT MARRIAGE AND (IN)FIDELITY
The story of Roussillon is one that brings to account infidelity and its impacts. Both Roussillon and his wife face a test of their fidelity to each other. When his wife is approached by Cabestaing, her loyalty is tested. However, she reciprocates the love he shows and even has intimate relations with him, proving her inability to be loyal to her husband. She passes as an inconsiderate person as she is oblivious to the consequences of her infidelity. Roussillon, upon discovering his wife’s infidelity faces the test of proving his consistent love for his wife. He takes matters into his hands and kills Cabestaing, sparing his wife. It can be deduced that Roussillon saw less fault in his wife as in his friend. His wife’s betrayal did not annoy him as Cabestaing’s; therefore, the love for his wife was great. Roussillon’s wife showed inability to withstand this difficult test in their marriage when she committed suicide.
The story of The Marquis of Saluzzo, Gualtieri, is not about infidelity but rather, fidelity- a test of trust in marriage. Gualtieri marries Griselda after his acquaintances insist on the matter. Gualtieri, even before marrying her, had his doubts about finding a wife as he protests about how difficult it is to find a wife who is coherent with her husband. This doubt pushes him to make Griselda go through several ordeals in a bid to establish her level of loyalty- despite his love for her, he lucks complete trust in his bride. Trust is a big test in their marriage. Griselda, out of complete love for her husband, submits to his every demand; and even when Gualtieri sends her away and feigns having their children killed, her love and trust do not waver. From the story, we can judge Gualtieri as unfair as he did not reciprocate the trust his wife accorded him and only had to make her suffer before having complete trust in her. Griselda, on the other hand, is submissive to her husband, and proves to be faithful in every aspect as she still returns to Gualtieri in the end.
Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. Tr. James M. Riggs [Modernized]. London: TheNavarre Society, 1903. The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio. Web. 31 Dec. …