I Should Be Bronzed
325 times in 248 posts
Re: Day 7 - Dioneo (Lustful)
The day, being ruled by Dioneo, promised to be a fun day and in my opinion it didn't disappoint. The 7th day concerns stories about adultery which shouldn't be any surprise considering the ruler of the day and the 7th commandment.
To set the mood the morning star is mentioned very early in the introduction, "still glowing in the whitening dawn". The group moves to the valley of the ladies with nature chiming in to greet them. We see our group getting closer and closer to nature. They are removing themselves more and more from the civilized world. Because this day is more about primal passion, it's only right that we see a significant shift away from the civilized world. So our group heads into the 'wild'.
I would have used the chupacabra instead of the werewolf. This was a cute story. It didn't make me lol but I enjoyed reading it. It was a good first story. Much like when we enter a pool we do it with out toe first to test the waters. This story was very welcoming.
I thought this story to be very amusing. Here B. derives some of his material from the Golden Ass by Aupleius. I haven't read that book but I am going to put it on my to do list along with some of Ovid's work.
Here we have another diatribe against the clergy: "But why do I ramble on about this friar Rinaldo of ours? Is there a single one of these friars who behaves any differently? Ah, scandal of this corrupt and wretched world! It doesn't worry them in the least that they appear so fat and bloated, that a bright red glow suffuses their cheeks, that their clothes are smooth as velvet, and that in all their dealings they are so effeminate; yet they are anything but dovelike, for they strut about like as many proud peacocks with all their feathers on display..."
There has to be one of these in each day. B. must have had real issues with the clergy. I feel they must have been extremely corrupt and that if they weren't as sexually deviant as he suggests, they were so corrupt as to warrant libeling them constantly.
B. is against corrupt men, not god. "However god will doubtless see that they, and the simple souls who keep them supplied with all these things, receive their just deserts." He warns people not to fall for their tricks for god will punish them for supporting such a corrupt system. If this is the case, Stahrwe is screwed.
It seems the bond between God parents and parents was like becoming family so that if a god parent were to sleep with the parent of the child it would be as incest. "I was always told it was one of the worst sins anyone could commit." The friar wants to sleep with the parent of his god child and her comment about it being one of the worst sins anyone could commit shows the depravity of men of the cloth.
notes: This particular story seems to be derived from on of the exempla in Peter Alphonsi's Disciplina Clericalis, a collection of anecdotes used by preachers as source material for moralizing sermons.
B. has inspiration from many different sources. I'm thinking it likely he also used many local legends, bar tales, etc. Especially when it comes to the stories about Calandrino.
Jealousy without provocation. She resolved to make him suffer in good earnest from the ill which hitherto he had feared without cause. This is amazing to me. There are two stories in this day where we see married men who are jealous 'for no reason' and their wives decide to teach them a lesson in which they cheat on the man. So, it's kind of the chicken or the egg gambit. Was he jealous for no reason? Did his jealousy cause her to cheat? Would she have cheated had he not been jealous? In both stories the woman, instead of teaching the man a lesson in which she doesn't cheat on him but cures him of his jealousy decides instead to give it up to a lover in revenge? The women were obviously spiteful and not in love with their husbands to have done such a thing. Or maybe love of a husband didn't involve sex - it was something held higher than that but below the love for a lover? In any case, I think these husbands had good reason to be jealous.
Then.... what happens?
"And not only did he promise her that he would never be jealous again, but he gave her permission to amuse herself to her heart's content, provided she was sensible enough not to let him catch her out. So, like the stupid peasant, he first was mad and then was pleasant. Long live Love, therefore, and a plague to skinflints."
Wow! What is the message here? The husband is made a cuckold of and then basically gives permission for his wife to keep her extra marital affairs going hot and heavy? Is he trying to take away the thrill of it all and steal some of her pleasure away by condoning the behavior? No... he's just a jackass. It was the husbands stupidity and jealousy/miserliness which was the supposed cause of it all, according to B., in my opinion.
What was the response by the group to this whores activities? "Everyone had commended the lady for treating her reprobate husband as he deserved..." hahaha. I'm sure most people today and back then would have given a much different response.
Here we have another jealous husband that's going to get his just deserts because "no young wife is safe against the machinations of a jealous husband, who will stop at nothing to destroy her." Jealous husbands are evil in the D.!!!
She seeks a just and proper motive for his jealousy. But again, instead of just teaching him a lesson without being unfaithful, she actually sleeps with another man. She's not the "good little wife" she claims to be. After cheating (which she absolutely did not need to do to teach this man his lesson) on him and learning of some of her trickery (she leaves out the cheating part) "without saying anything by way of reply, he began to look upon his wife as a model of intelligence and virtue." VIRTUE!!!! VIRTUE!!! WOW. I am missing something with these stories. Virtue obviously doesn't apply to a vagina.
And so the jealous husband is jealous no longer when he obviously needs to be.
What did the group think about this unfaithful skank? "Everyone declared that the wife had taught the stupid man a salutary lesson." !!!!!!
In this story we have a lady with 2 lovers! lol. And why?
"But just as it frequently happens that people grow tired of always eating the same food, and desire a change of diet, so this lady, being somewhat disatisfied with her husband, fell in love with a young man..."
Super funny story in my opinion. I love when a man not only gets made a cuckold of but gets beaten as well. It's even better, as in the case of Panurge of Gargantua and Pantagruel, where the man gets beaten by his wife.
This man beats the hell out of what he thinks is his wife. I wonder how common this was.
From notes: There are numerous antecedents in medieval literature of stories involving the humiliation of a husband as proof of an adulterous wife's devotion to her lover.
"It is my conviction that there is no enterprise, however perilous or difficult it may be, that those who are fervently in love will not have the courage to undertake."
"For if things are left in their present state, I shall pine away and he will think I was putting his fidelity to the test, so that, whereas I want him to love me, he will end up by hating me." Here's some more keen insight into Human affairs by B.
"servants should treat their masters no differently from the way their masters treat them." "So let us treat them and their belongings as they would treat us and ours." Agreed. Don't feel guilty at all. You are justified.
The beard pulling had me laughing but the ending was just totally ridiculous and unbelievable. Them having sex under the peach tree? Nooo... could never happen.
"May god grant that we enjoy a similar fate." I guess we're tossing the 7th commandment out the window.
Instead of the ladies confessing their distaste in the adulterous woman's behavior they mourned the death of the stupid tree.
"Saying that he should arrange for prayers and masses to be recited on his behalf, and for alms to be given, since these things were highly beneficial to the souls of the dead." I have a feeling B. had superstitious leanings and liked religion for its mysticism, ceremony, and perceived powers.
But sadly, this story was a rare dud for Dioneo in my opinion.
A lot of times in literature, bathing is a sign that evils are being washed away, sins are cleansed, and in a sense the story and/or its characters receives a baptism of sorts. I think we witnessed this in the previous day's conclusion. The lake has this significance as well as another. The group is moving further away from the civilized world and becoming closer to nature as well. They are interacting with nature and nature is interacting with them in turn. They've stopped playing chess, a civilized past time, and have instead chosen more primitive pursuits.