There has been much discussion concerning the significance of the names Boccaccio has given to his narrators - allegorical representations of the seven virtues, symbols of other moral qualities, or just characters that have populated Boccaccio's earlier works. It has been said that Elissa represents either "hope" (Kirkham) or "justice" (Ferrante) and also that she is very young and dominated by a violent passion. Paden suggests that she is the sole recognizable Ghibelline of the group.

The first glimpse of Elissa's character comes in the Introduction of the First Day in which Pampinea has suggested to the other women her plan for fleeing the city in order in an attempt to save their own lives and to return to a somewhat ordered and rational existence. Filomena agrees that this is a good idea but she believes since they are all women and, by nature, "fickle, quarrelsome, suspicious, cowardly, and easily frightened," they will never succeed in their venture.

It is here that Elissa speaks up: she agrees that women are unsuited and unable to act without male guidance but, she wonders, where will they find suitable male companions. She fears for the safety of the group and is concerned about any possible scandal related to traveling with a group of men.

Elissa's Introductory Remarks:

Many of the comments made by the Narrator when, in the transition at the beginning of each novella, he introduces its narrator, follow the same rhetorical model: the members of the brigata are always eager to begin their stories and oblige the command of the Queen or King of the Day. This is true in the treatment of Elissa as well insofar as she generally obeys the day's ruler yet, in the Introduction to Day Three, she assumes an insolent attitude from which we can deduce some features of Elissa's "aristocratic" character. Is she reacting to the anti-ghibelline sentiments of the previous stories told in that day?

Elissa's stories