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Apr 27th 2013 at 4:45:12 PM •••

First, really cool to see that there are other readers of the Decameron on this site. I'm meaning to try and add some more tropes at some point.

What I wanted to ask about is Ciapelletto's sexual orientation in light of that description to the effect that he was "as fond of women as a dog is of the/a stick".

The way the line is phrased/translated makes it unclear whether Boccaccio is making an analogy with a dog fetching a stick (i.e. Ciapelletto is a skirt-chaser) or a dog being beaten with a stick (i.e. Ciapelletto doesn't go for women). I had been reading the line to mean the former (and thus interpreted him to be a Depraved Bisexual), but I can see why the latter also makes sense.

Has anyone read the work in Italian and could offer some clarification?

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Apr 28th 2013 at 3:03:42 AM •••

I'm pretty sure Boccaccio means the latter. I haven't read the work in Italian but he used the same expression for another Depraved Homosexual in another story (Day 5, story 10) where a wife finds out her husband Pietro cheats on her with men (even married her only to save his reputation) and then takes a lover. When the husband catches him, he confronts her. She respond "I doubt not indeed that thou wouldst be well pleased that fire should fall from heaven and devour us all [the women], seeing that thou art as fond of us [the women] as a dog is of the stick, though by the Holy Rood thou wilt be disappointed".

Of course, this is Middle Age. There's no idea of free sexual orientation and this is clearly intended to make both Ciapelletto and Pietro Acceptable Target. (But in Ciapelletto's case, he also a Complete Monster who commits crimes For the Evulz)

Apr 28th 2013 at 9:18:01 AM •••

Oh, thanks for the response/info. I had missed that the same phrase was used about the other Depraved Homosexual character in day 5, story 10..

Also, you make a good point- I had been (mis)reading it as saying that Ciapelletto was depraved in his pursuit of both women and men, but you are right- it seems unlikely that a Medieval work would really "get" the idea of bisexuality.

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