Staging Jonson's Volpone Essays

Staging Jonson's Volpone Essays

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Staging Volpone   

Jonson's Volpone, or The Fox is almost exactly contemporary with Shakespeare's Othello and contains aspects that some might view as its comic counterpart. Venetian corruption and the insidious influence of a mincing, unscrupulous servant are themes common to both plays. What, though, has this play to communicate to us? Themes of corruption and materialism, resulting in a misanthropic view of the world, might have been telling in seventeenth-century England, but it is of course extremely difficult to construe them as relevant to the world of today..

Volpone (the fox) is a wealthy man who fakes a grave illness in order to accumulate further treasures that will make him wealthier. His servant, Mosca (the fly), informs some of Volpone's rich associates that he is nearing his end and considering his will; each can boost his or her prospects of becoming sole beneficiary after his death by presently bestowing upon him plentiful gifts.

However, Volpone is by no means a simple comedy, and there are elements of several genres contemporary to Jonson an...

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