Marie de France and The Decameron

1. Griselda is being tested, because according to her husband, Gualtieri, he “wished to show [Griselda] how to be a wife, to teach these people ho to choose and keep a wife, and to guarantee [his] own peace and quiet.” Gualtieri wanted to make sure his wife was perfectly patient.

2. In both The Decameron and The Thousand and One Nights, telling stories is the main event happening in each. In The Decameron, it is a way to pass the time for the ten young people who are trying to get their minds off of the horrible effects of the black plague. In The Thousand and One Nights, stories are used to get the king’s attention away from his destructive streak. In this way the two uses of stories are the same, in that they are being used to distract people from a bad situation. However, in the first case it is intentional, and in the second the person who is affected is not aware of the situation he is in. The tellers in both stories are aware of what they are trying to achieve and both do so successfully.

3. The nightingale is a symbol of the unattainable love between the two neighbors. This is seen in when the husband asks her for an explanation for her sitting by the window. She says that she likes to hear the nightingale sing, when in actuality it is to spend time with the knight she loves. When her husband kills the bird, it represents his putting an end to the relationship. When the other knight receives the bird and makes a golden coffin for it, this shows the ultimate end to the love and possible relationship, but also how important it was to both people, because gold shows importance.

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