The Heptameron Characters

Margaret of Navarre (Sicilian queen)
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The Heptameron Summary & Study Guide Description

The Heptameron Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Heptameron by Margaret of Navarre (Sicilian queen).

Oisille, appears in Various Stories

Oisille is described as being an old widow. She is the oldest member of the group of storytellers. Due to her age, Oisille seems to have been appointed as the unofficial leader of the group. Oisille is the first refugee to make her way to the abbey of Our Lady at Sarrance. Her travel was so treacherous that by the time she arrived at the abbey, she had only one man and one woman servant left to accompany her. Oisille's favorite past time is reading and studying scripture. When Parlamente suggests the group find something to do to occupy their time until the bridge can be built, Oisille believes they should spend their day studying scriptures. As a compromise, Oisille is chosen to teach the group a scripture lesson each morning before they have their round of storytelling each day. The stories told by Oisille include Story Two, Story Seventeen, Twenty-three, Thirty-two, Forty-six and Fifty-one. During the conversations following each story, Oisille often defends the actions of the characters in the story, or defends the group of people being told about in each particular story. The stories that Oisille tells often include characters who sometimes appear unbelievable because they are so good. For instance, the lady in Story Two is so determined to protect her virtue that she is killed by a man trying to rape her.

Hircan, appears in Various Stories

Hircan is Parlamente's husband. He is among the travelers who are attacked when they stay at the home of a bandit as they travel home from Cauteret. From his conversation following the stories, Hircan appears to be very jaded and insensitive in his attitude toward women. For instance, after Story Four, Hircan tells the group he believed the lord should have killed the old woman so that he could get what he wanted from the younger lady. Hircan is also very quick to discover the individual personalities of those around him. For instance, after Nomerfide tells Story Six, Hircan tells Nomerfide that he believes that she is the type of woman who would get very worked up if she knew a rumor was being spread about her but would not be clever enough to figure a way to stop the rumor. Hircan has a bad repuatation as a ladies' man. Even his wife is aware that he has cheated on her in the past. The stories told by Hircan include Story Seven, Story Eighteen, Story Thirty, Story Thirty-five, Story Forty-nine, and Story Fifty-six.

The Abbot at Our Lady of Sarrance Abbey, appears in Various Stories

Like many of the friars in the stories, this abbot who serves at the Abbey of Our Lady of Sarrance is described as being a hypocrite. He allows the group of travelers to stay at his abbey only because he does not want to offend anyone. The abbot knows these travelers are known and liked by many people in high society. His real reasons for giving the travelers refuge comes not from hospitality or godly love, but instead from a desire not stay in the good graces of other people. When the group offers to have a bridge built so that they can go home, the abbot is happy they are paying the expense of the bridge because it will bring more visitors to his abbey. However, the abbot does not donate any money whatsoever to build the bridge. In fact, the abbot has work on the bridge speeded up so that the refugees will leave and he can go back to entertaining his lady guests as he would like to do. This character fits well the theme of the hypocritical monk, an important theme that appears in many of the stories that the travelers tell. This abbot enjoys spending time with the ladies even though he has supposedly taken a vow of chastity. In addition, he does not have the godly, loving attitude that one would expect a "holy" man should have.

Simontaut, appears in Various Stories

In the Prologue of the novel, Simontaut watches as his servants are swept away and drowned when he tries to cross the Gave de Pau despite the fact the river is still badly flooded. Simontaut is taken by a shepherd to the abbey at Sarrance where he is reunited with Oisille. In this first story, Simontaut describes a woman who has caused major trouble for her husband by behaving immorally. After his story, Simontaut refers to women as devils and tormentors of men. It is indicated in this story that it is to Parlamente whom he refers as his own personal devil. It is apparent these two have had relations with each other prior to their time together at the abbey. Overall, Simontaut appears to have a very negative attitude toward women. He seems to believe that females have no empathy for or good feelings toward men at all.

Parlamente , appears in Various Stories

Parlamente is a lady who is married to Hircan. She is among the travelers who stay at the bandit's home and are attacked by outlaws. It is Parlamente who suggests to Oisille that the group find some positive way to entertain themselves while the bridge is being built so that they can return home. It is discovered at the end of Story One that Parlamente and Simontaut are lovers. When Simontaut talks about the cruel ways in which he believes women treat men, Parlamente realizes that he is refering to her as his personal tormentor. In the interlude between Stories Six and Seven it is learned that Parlament is aware that her husband has cheated on her. Parlemente tells several stories including Story Twenty-one, Story Forty, Forty-two, Fifty-seven and Sixty-four.

Longarine, appears in Various Stories

Longarine travels away from the spas with Parlamente, Hircan and her own husband. While staying at the home of a bandit, Longarine's husband is killed when a fight begins. Among the stories told by Longarine include Story Eight, Story Twenty-five, Thirty-eight, Fifty, Fifty-nine, and Sixty-two.

Ennasuite, appears in Various Stories

Ennasuite is one of the ladies who takes refuge at the abbey after her horse dies while being chased by a bear. Among the stories told by Ennasuite are Story Four, Story Nineteen, Story Twenty-seven, Thirty-six and Forty-eight.

Nomerfide, appears in Various Stories

Nomerfide is one of the ladies who take refuge at the abbey after her horse dies while being chased by a bear. Nomerfide is the youngest member of the group of refugees. Nomerfide is very quick to respond to and become angry with remarks that come from the other storytellers. Nomerfide's stories include Story Six, Story Eleven, Story Twenty-nine, Story Forty-four and Story Fifty-five.

Dagoucin, appears in Various Stories

Dagoucin is one of the men who follows Parlamente, Hircan and Longarine as they make their way home. When Dagoucin hears the fight in the house next door, he comes to the rescue of the ladies whom he has followed. Dagoucin tells Story Nine, Story Eleven, Story Twenty-four, Story Seventy-two, Story Forty-seven, and Story Fifty-eight.

Saffredent, appears in Various Stories

Saffredent is one of the men who follows Parlamente, Hircan and Longarine as they make their way home. Saffredent and Dagoucin go to the aid of the ladies when they hear the fight break out in the house next to the one where they are staying. Saffredent tells the third story, Story Twenty-six. Story Thirty-nine, Story Forty-one, Story Fifty-four, and Story Sixty-one.

Geburon, appears in Various Stories

Geburon arrives at the abbey of Saint-Savin after he is attacked by three men as he is sleeping. Geburon manages to wound one of the men. As the others are distracted by this wounded man, Geburon is able to run away from them to the abbey. Geburon is generally fair to those around him when he tells his stories. These stories do not paint either of the sexes in a bad light such as the stories told by the others sometimes do. Geburon's stories include the fifth story, Story Forty-three, and Story Sixty-five.

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