The Rape, Humiliation, and Power Struggle of Alibech Sample Essay

The 10th narrative of the 3rd twenty-four hours in the Decameron is an geographic expedition of linguistic communication merely as the remainder of the book. Within this narrative. the smallest of words can do the biggest differences in how the subjects can be interpreted. The mastermind of Boccaccio’s authorship is that while he may hold had different aspirations for the Decameron. the readings can be every bit modern as the Decameron is celebrated.

Although Dioneo introduces the narrative as a narrative of love. it is nil of the kind ; in fact. the narrative of Alibech and her spiritual journey is a narrative that wholly strips a immature adult female of the construct of love. Alibech is given a perceptual experience of God’s work that is disguised as colza ; she non merely does non accept to sexual intercourse. she does non cognize what it even is. Sexual activity is presented to her for the first clip in negative linguistic communication: male genital organ is “the devil” . while female genital organ is “hell” . In the debut. love is personified. capitalized. and given the pronoun he: “ . . . Love is more inclined to take up his residence in a cheery castle and a delicacy bedroom than in a deplorable hut. . . “ ( 274 ) . This assumes that Love is a male. and because the Decameron is written for “women in love” . a adult female may merely see love through a adult male. This besides suggests that Love is a physical force as opposed to metaphysical: without a physical adult male. a adult female is Love-less.

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As Alibech progresses through her journey. several work forces turn her away: she foremost leaves her male parent. as he is unable to associate to her desires to go a Christian. She is so directed by a unidentified Christian to go far from her place to function God. She meets the first sanctum adult male. who directs her farther into the desert ; though this first holy adult male provides her with food—a physical need—but no more. for Alibech was possibly a trial that the Satan had sent to him. ( Migiel 167 ) This thought of the adult female as the enticement comes up once more when she meets the 2nd sanctum adult male. Rustico: “Being dying to turn out himself that he possess a will of Fe. he did non. like the others. direct her away or direct her elsewhere” . ( 275 ) This is the sentence that sets Alibech up to be the attacker alternatively of the victim ; it appears to be Alibech’s mistake for believing impious ideas and interrupting down his Fe will. but possibly Rustico’s perversions were present wholly along. and they merely happened to turn into action when Alibech—a existent. physical. sexually appealing woman—came to remain with him. Then. it is the mistake of neither Alibech nor the Satan. instead the unconditioned character of Rustico.

Rustico uses Alibech’s entreaty for the spiritual as a tool to pull strings her. Rustico tells her to make as he does. for he acts in the name of God to rebut the Satan. Young and ductile. she submits to him. When she sees his bare anatomy and learns that his genitalias are the Satan. she unwittingly speaks of female laterality: “I can see I am better off than you are. for I have no such Satan to postulate with. ” ( 276 ) . Rustico corrects her. for this idea does non aline with his misogynous positions. stating that she has something worse ; she has a snake pit. While his Satan merely appears some of the clip ( i. e. : when he achieves an hard-on ) . her snake pit is everlastingly present and can merely be tamed. non set back. After they have engaged in intercourse for the first clip. she remarks on how bad the Satan must be. unwittingly noticing on the sanctum man’s hapless sexual public presentation. He. so. had to turn out his sexual competency by come ining her several more times that twenty-four hours. himself staying satisfied.

Over the following twosome of yearss. Alibech finds that she has a bent for rebuting the Satan. that she enjoys functioning God. During this clip. Rustico becomes less aroused. though there may be several grounds why: is he less eager to prosecute in intercourse because he is acquiring it more often. or does Alibech’s pleasance turn him off? The fact that he was so aroused by Alibech’s artlessness and deficiency of cognition points to the possibility that he can non be stimulated without mortifying Alibech. Finally. Alibech unwittingly asks to accomplish the same pleasance that Rustico achieves: the climax. While it is easy to direct the Satan back. it is non so easy to chasten snake pit. so-to-speak. She exclaims that her snake pit. intending her female gender. will non go forth her alone. Rustico could non assist her really much with the taming of her snake pit. even though he is purportedly a really holy adult male ; certainly a adult male of his virtuousness could chasten hell the manner he could direct the Satan back. Lo. he was non able to assist her. and she began to kick.

The holy man’s ain physical pleasance was non plenty for the immature adult female. When she required equal pleasance from him. he was unable to present. The misogynous positions of the holy adult male makes this possible. for one time she discovered her ain desires and began demanding them. she was no longer under his control. When the immature adult male comes to get married Alibech. there is reference of alleviation for Rustico ; he could non fulfill a adult female with her ain desires. When the adult females of Gafsa mock her. they appear to mock her artlessness. but in an alternate position. they besides mock her find of voice. She commands the Satan to set snake pit back where it came from. excessively.

Plants Cited

Migiel. Marilyn. “Beyond Seduction: A Reading of the Tale of Alibech and Rustico ( Decameron III. 10 ) . ” Italica. 75. 2 ( 1998 ) : 161-177. Print.


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