Can you help with summaries and themes of The Decameron Second Day stories?

Expert Answers
jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The theme of the Second Day stories is generally the vicissitudes of fate--that is, the way in which people's fates are unpredictable. The storytellers speak about the fickle nature of Fortune.

Here are summaries of the stories on the Second Day:

  • In the First Tale, a man named Martellino pretends to be paralyzed to be cured by the body of a dead saint named Arrigo; instead, Martellino is arrested but later pardoned.
  • In the Second Tale, Rinaldo is robbed by a band of travelers but then heads to Castel Guglielmo, where he finds a beautiful woman who takes him in and clothes him. Later, the thieves are apprehended, and Rinaldo's belongings are restored to him. 
  • The Third Tale is about Alessandro, the nephew of ne'er-do-well uncles who send him to England. On the way back to Italy, he meets an abbot with whom he falls in love. The abbot turns out to be the daughter of the King of England, and she earns the Pope's permission to wed Alessandro, who returns to England and earns the king's favor.
  • The Fourth Tale is about a man named Landolfo who becomes a pirate and loses his treasures during a storm, when his ship is taken over. He then washes ashore, where a woman helps him and where he finds his lost treasures. He goes on to live a prosperous and peaceful life.
  • The Fifth Tale is about a man named  Andreuccio who, while attending a horse show, is robbed by a woman named Fiordaliso who says she is his sister. After some mishaps, he winds up joining some other men to rob a tomb, and he eventually returns home with jewels.
  • In the Sixth Tale, a woman named Beritola has to flee Sicily when it is taken over by Charles I. She is pregnant and also has a son. She escapes to an island, but her two sons are lost to her. Later, the two boys are enslaved, the older son to a man named Currado. The older son, Giannotto, falls in love with Currado's daughter, but Currado jails him when he finds out. Later, after Sicily falls out of Charles I's hands, Currado realizes who Giannotto is and releases him from jail. Giannotto is reunited with his mother and is able to marry. They also find the younger son, and their father regains power in Sicily.
  • In the Seventh Tale, Alatiel, the daughter of the Sultan of Babylon, is sent to be married to the King of Algarve. She encounters a storm and eventually is passed into the possession of nine men before being restored to her father and marrying the King of Algarve.
  • The Eighth Tale is about Walter, Count of Antwerp, who governs France while the king is away. The king's daughter-in-law accuses Walter of rape, and he escapes. He has to leave his daughter and son behind, but eventually he is reunited with them and the king declares Walter's innocence.
  • In the Ninth Tale, a man named Bernabò of Genoa sentences his innocent wife to death for stealing money, but later, disguised as a man in the court of the Sultan of Alexandria, she finds and punishes the true thief and is reunited with her husband.
  • In the Tenth Tale, a man named Paganino captures a woman named Bartolomea, who is young and beautiful. Her elderly husband, Ricciardo finds them, but Bartolomea refuses to return to her husband and is later married to Paganino.