Griselda’s character was tested by her husband Gualtieri. He devised the most awful tests he could to test how strong Griselda’s loyalty and patience were. Griselda gave up her children thinking that they were to be killed; she let her husband divorce her so he could marry another woman without so much as a negative word. She obeyed her husband’s commands and proved that she was a woman of great character.
Beyond the testing of Griselda I think the story is actually pointing out how much women could endure and still stay strong. At the time the story was written women were second class citizens and yet they persevered and cared for their families with strength and dignity. The testing and trials that Griselda went through were just an exaggerated example of the hardships women endured at that time.
The stories from the Decameron and the Thousand and One Nights were all stories that entertained while teaching a moral value. Shahrazad wove her tales to entertain her husband so he would not order her death while the ten storytellers in Decameron told their tales to entertain themselves while in self-imposed exile. The stories accomplish what the intended purpose is in the storyline but also accomplish what I am sure the writer was trying to convey about morals and values. It is important that the teller can tell the tale in such a way that it is believable. There has to be some connection or the tale will not come alive and be as entertaining.
I think that the nightingale symbolizes a forbidden love as well as the dreams of the wife. She knows that she is chained to a man she does not love and who controls her life but she longs for more. She longs for love and freedom. When her husband kills the nightingale it is as if she is the bird…. broken and dead. She knows she will never be free from her husband and she will never have a chance to know love.