Avarice in Ben Jonson's Volpone

Good Essays
What a rare punishment/Is avarice to itself! Volpone, Act 1, sc.iv.

Do the events in the play confirm this?

Volpone was written at a time when Jacobean London was infected with

greed, cunning and credulity. These traits Ben Jonson used to show the

folly of avarice and its rewards or punishment to those whose only

love is money and appropriating more of it. Volpone is all about

morals, greed and the depths people will sink to get what they want,

despite its consequences on themselves and others.

The Jacobean audiences were familiar with its setting in Venice and

they thought Italy 'was the land of sensational evil-doing. Among

Italian cities Venice ... stood in the front rank for this sinister

repute.' (Barish, 1972: 65)

So the choice of setting was deliberate, he wanted t...
Get Access