“Neither you nor I can resist the power of Love.” 1Theseare the only words spoken by Guiscardo, the young men who is killed by hislover’s father in the story. Thesentence reminds also Francesca Rimini’s claim from Inferno, that Love is unforgiving toanyone who is loved. ” Amor, che a nessun amato Amor perdona.
“2 It summarizes the story of the twoyoung lovers very well, in the way that their love is also not enough and doesnot help them to have a happy ending. All of the stories inDecameron are based on the theme of the day. The theme of the fourth day is”those whose love ended unhappily.” It includes three stories in which younglovers are killed. The first storyof the day is the story of Ghismonda and Tancredi, which ends unhappily aswell. Tancredi, Prince of Salerno,had a beautiful daughter named Ghismonda. He loved her so much that he did not want her to marry someone.Eventually, he marries her with the Duke of Capua, but the Duke dies, soGhismonda comes back home to live with her father.
Tancredi is pleased withthis situation and does not hurry to marry off his daughter for the secondtime. However, Ghismonda getstired of being alone and decides to find a husband for herself. She falls inlove with one of her father’s valet, whose name is Guiscardo. Soon after, theyboth realize that their feelings are mutual. Ghismonda writes him a letter explaining how to proceed.They decide to meet in Ghismonda’s room.
He will use the door to a forgottencavern that is directly located in her bedroom. They start to meet in herbedroom, and everything was going well until one day when Tancredi decides tospeak with his daughter in her room. When he goes to her bedroom Ghismonda isnot there, so he decides to hide behind a curtain and wait for her. That afternoon, Ghismonda meets withGuiscardo, and they both come to her room. Tancredi wakes up and sees Guiscardobut does not say anything to him but he already made a plan for punishing him.He gets Guiscardo arrested and locks him up at night.
In the following day,Tancredi confronts Ghismonda not only she was with a man outside marriage butwith someone who is not the same social status with her. Tancredi tells herthat he knows what he is going to do with Guiscardo but does not know what hewill do with her. Ghismonda understands what this means. She knows that herfather will kill his lover so decides to kill herself as well. By Tancredi’s orders, his servantsstrangle Guiscardo and remove his heart.
He then has the heart placed in agolden chalice and sends to Ghismonda with a special note. Ghismonda cries enough and then decidesto drink up the poison. The last wish she wants from his father is to bury herand Guiscardo together. Tancredi is sorry for his actions, but it is too late.He buries the two lovers together.
Not just in this first story but in the fourth day as a whole, the parents,or husbands who attempt to control the passions of their children, or wives found themselves in the tragicconsequences of their intervention. Boccaccio personifies love as both internal and external action. Forinstance, if love is the motivation for the couple, fortune sets up theconditions under which they share their desire. The relationship between loveand fortune is not so noticeable in the story of Ghismonda and Guiscardo. Wecan describe the story as one in which two lovers caught between their ownemotions and circumstances of the parental opposition.
The concept of soul enters to the story to punish Guiscardo. The removal ofGuiscardo’s heart was a horrifying punishment. However, this physical act wasintended to “mark” the soul of the dead and resist his transition to a peacefuleternity.
Another idea that the story depicts is that personal relationships are notbased on the acquired social status of your lover. It is based on the naturalqualities that a person has no matter which class or social status he belongsto. In the story, Guiscardo was born to a lower social status family which is asignificant difference for Tancredi. However, it is not significant forBoccaccio. The author wants to mention that social status does not matter inpersonal relationships. In the Decameron Boccacio’s understanding of human nature are the moralimplications.
His general attitude towards morality is not strict and narrowinstead it is tolerant and enlightened. According to him if no one knows theright answer, then we must not blame others whose rule of life is differentfrom ours. Collection of stories written by the Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron can be described as a frame story containing hundredtales told by a group of seven young women and three young men. The storiestake place during a historicalevent which is the Black Death, and our storytellers are trying to escape from thedisease. Boccaccio depicts the importance of storytelling by making the bookconsists of short stories.
Storytelling has a crucial role in the productionand discussion of shared social and cultural values. Stories can shape thereality because they offer critical structuralelements which make reality receive a meaning. The most important thing aboutstorytelling is that most of the time they teach life lessons . The Decameron is also a reminder that spiritual life is only one aspect oflife and that there is another aspect with knowledge, with desires, with thebody, and passions. It was revolutionary in a way that the stories were relatedto the direct material life that was shared by all of the people from differentsocial status.
Boccaccio’s stories take his readers to another world, to aworld that is in the reality of experience. It entertains as well as educatesand instructs them to understand the real and daily life better.1 Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron, page 295 2 Dante, Divine Comedy, Inferno, V, page 103