Sunday, February 25, 2018

Federigo's Falcon: Fifth Day from The Decameron Review

"Federigo's Falcon" is a novella from the masterpiece of the Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio "The Decameron". Boccaccio (1313–1375) lived in Florence during the Medieval Ages. His works gained popularity after his death.

"The Decameron" was framed as stories inside the story: the group of narrators told a new story each day. The author used the tales, myths, anecdotes of the time when he lived and he brought to each story emotional part, focusing on the characters and conflict resolutions.

The story is about a young nobleman who lived in Florence and who fell in love with a noble lady named Monna Giovanna. Trying to win her heart he organized a countless number of tournaments, parties, meetings and eventually he spent all his money, without succeeding in gaining the love of his desirable lady. Only a little farm was left in his ownership, he moved to that farm and started to live there on its revenues very meagrely.

He had nothing valuable except the falcon, which was the finest among that kind of birds. Meanwhile, Monna Giovanna got married and gave the birth to her son. After few years her husband died and he made her the heir of all his fortune if his son died without any legitimate children.

She had a farm too and her farm was close to Federigo's farm. She used to live there with her son. It happened that the boy became more and more friendly with Federigo, he enjoyed seeing Federigo's falcon fly and he wanted so much to have this falcon as his own. He didn't dare to ask Federigo about giving the falcon because he understood that the bird was the only valuable thing which Federigo had.

The son of Monna Giovanna happened to fall ill. The crying mother asked him if there was something that could bring him joy. The son said he wished to have Federigo's falcon. Monna was ready to do anything for her son and she promised to go to Federigo' farm, ask it and bring the bird to her son. In anticipating this present, the condition of her son seemed to have improved and next day Monna Giovanna went to the Federigo's farm.

Federigo was very surprised and pleased his fate to see his lovely woman. He asked her to wait in the room while he was organizing a dinner in her honor. But when he went out to the kitchen he realized that he didn't have any food. In a desperate feeling he took the falcon, he wrung its neck and gave it to the servant girl to prepare the dish. After that, he came back with a cheerful face to his lady. Monna Giovanna didn’t know what it was they were eating.

When the dinner time was over, Monna Giovanna had to start the conversation about the reason for her visit. As Federigo heard about her wish to ask for the falcon, he started crying. Mona thought that he was crying for his falcon and she was ready to leave her wish. When it became clear that they ate the bird, she had to return home and say her son that she couldn't fulfill his wish. The son was very disappointed and after a while, he died.

So, Monna Giovanna started to live alone. Her brothers told her that she should find a new husband. Firstly she refused thinking about it but after some time she said that she would agree to marry only Federigo. Her brothers disagreed because Federigo was poor but because Monna was persistent in her choice, considering the fact that Federigo was of noble birth they accepted her wish. When Fererigo "found himself the husband of such a great lady, whom he had loved so much and who was so wealthy besides, he managed his financial affairs with more prudence than in the past and lived with her happily the rest of his days."


The happy ending of the story conveys to readers the idea that sacrificing for love is what should be rewarded. People who are in love each other must find happiness being together.
This is a link to the text of the story:

http://www.doralacademyprep.org/ourpages/auto/2013/11/7/49992710/u1_themes_decameron_se.pdf