Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2015

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English, Linguistics, and Communication

First Advisor

Kennedy, Teresa

Second Advisor

Richards, Gary

Major or Concentration



Many scholars have discussed the symbolism of love and loss as well as the imagery of the plague in Giovanni Boccacio's the Decameron. In this paper, I discuss Boccaccio's plague narrative in the introduction to the text. Then, I examines the introduction to Day Four to show the inability of language to hinder nature. I also show how the meaning of Filostrato's name, its correlation to the somber theme that he has chosen, and Pampinea's reaction to Filostrato's theme demonstrate that these are emblematic of loss as part of the human condition. Lastly, I closely analyzes the story of Simona and Pasquino (IV,VII) to argue that Day Four is an actualization of the theme of the Decameron: the only way to live a meaningful life is to embrace Nature.