Boccaccio’s The Decameron

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The Decameron, by Boccaccio, is a frame story written in the mid fourteenth century. There are a hundred stories told over a span of ten days. On the second day, a man tells a story about a princess, Alatiel, who was sent away to marry a king. Before Alatiel reaches her destination, she has sexual experiences with a lot of different men. Alatiel is treated like an object and allows this objectification to happen because she is so fickle and does nothing to stop the men. The fickleness of Alatiel and the treatment of her as an object is evident throughout the story.
The story starts off portraying Alatiel as an object when her father, the sultan of Babylon, promises her hand to the king of Algarve (48). Alatiel has no say in who she marries. Instead she is a gift from her father to the king of Algarve. Alatiel goes with Pericone but his brother, Marato wants the princess also. Marato takes Alatiel and “a large part of Pericone’s valuable possessions'; to the ship they are leaving on (52). This sentence implies that Alatiel is one of Pericone’s possessions. Alatiel is treated like property again when she is on the boat. Two men think that her “her love could be shared like merchandise or money'; (52). Once she gets to a new destination the prince of Morea looks “for a way of possessing her'; (53). He doesn’t and can’t win her love because they do not speak the same language. However, this doesn’t ...

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