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What is the summary of "The Story of Griselda"?

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Quick Answer

"The Story of Griselda" from Giovanni Boccaccio's novel "Decameron" is about a woman whose husband tests her loyalty by convincing her that he killed their children and by kicking her out of their home. Because she remains loyal to him, he invites her to return home and reunites her with their children.

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Full Answer

Of the women at his disposal, Gualtieri, the Marquis of Saluzzo, picks Griselda, a simple woman who, while attractive, is better known for her virtue. Gualtieri falls in love with her virtue, and when he asks her father for permission to marry her, she consents, promising to obey him.

Gualtieri has no reason to doubt Griselda's loyalty but decides to test her after the first daughter turns 2. He tells Griselda that he plans to kill their daughter because she was born a girl. Instead of arguing with him, Griselda relents, agreeing that he knows best. Gualtieri does the same to their second daughter, and again, Griselda bows to his wishes. Instead of killing his daughters, Gualtieri hides them, which Griselda never learns.

Gualtieri tests Griselda further by telling her that he is tired of her and plans to marry another woman. Griselda doesn't argue when Gualtieri kicks her out without anything but the shift she has on. When others ask her why she isn't fighting for her marriage, she urges them to respect her husband. When Gualtieri learns that Griselda's loyalty never wavered, he invites her to return. When she does, he introduces her to their daughters, who are adults, and he honors her, naming her his Marchioness.

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