- The Tenth Story of the Tenth Day: Why is Griselda being tested?
Griselda’s patience is being tested by her husband, the Marquis Gualtieri. This story has strong biblical undertones. Ephesians 5:22 states, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord,’ and Griselda follows the commands of her husband without resentment and with the upmost grace (p. 1360). When Gualtieri complains how disgruntled his subjects are about their daughter, she tells him to deal with her as he sees best, referencing the Virgin Mary’s response to Gabriel, “Be it unto me according to thy word.’ Then she hands over her children as instructed, as Abraham did his son Isaac. After learning that Gualtieri planned to divorce her and kick her out, she tells him, “It is to God and to yourself that I owe whatever standing I possess…for it has not escaped me that you took me naked as on the day I was born,’ (p. 1361). This alludes to Job, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord have, and the Lord hath taken away.’ That the readers do not even understand what exactly possessed Gualtieri to test Griselda is even less information than what we received in the story of Job, because we knew it was a challenge set by Satan. However, it is a similar situation in that Griselda perseveres through the trials her lord sets with poise.
- Compare the frame tales in the Decameron, and The Thousand and One Nights. In each case, what is the reason for telling stories? Do the stories accomplish the purpose for which they are intended? How important is the relationship between the tale and the teller?
The reason for telling the stories in the Decameron and the Thousand and One Nights are to escape death. In the Decameron, the tellers are trying to escape that death is all around them in the form of the Plague. Enjoying themselves telling stories takes their minds off of it. In the Thousand and One Nights, Shahrazad is trying to deter the imminent death she and her sisters face at the hand of the king. She is also trying to change the king’s way of thinking, steering him through the morals of her stories, which she succeeds at in the end. In Decameron, the lessons are open-ended, each allowing the reader to interpret and take the values which fit them.
- In Laustic, what does the nightingale symbolize? Explain your answer.
In Laustic, the nightingale’s song symbolizes love, and it’s death represents how that love can never come to fruition. The lady tells her husband, “Anyone who does not hear the song of the nightingale knows none of the joys of this world.’ In other words, the nightingale’s song represents love, which is the origin of joy. Those who do not feel love are not living happily. The nightingale’s death meant the end of their nightly meetings, since she no longer had the excuse of the nightingale keeping her up at night. However, the death did not mean the end of their love. The knight encased the bird’s body in gold showing that even thought they could not be together physically their doomed love would forever be cherished and held to the highest standard.