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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- Deception in Volpone In Volpone, Ben Jonson emphasizes the fun and the humor of deceit, but he does not overlook its nastiness, and in the end he punishes the deceivers. The play centers around the wealthy Volpone, who, having no wife or children, pretends to be dying and, with the help of his wily servant Mosca, eggs on several greedy characters, each of whom hopes to be made Volpone's sole heir. Jonson's ardent love of language reveals itself throughout the play, but especially in the words of Mosca and Volpone, who relish the deceptive powers of language.... [tags: Jonson Volpone]
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- Antitheatricalism and Jonson's Volpone Crossdressing in England was mostly opposed by the Fundamentalist branch of the Protestant Church known as the Puritans. The Puritan dogma, much like the concept of transvestism, was constantly challenged. Puritans found resistance in the religious authorities of the Church of England and the English government. Before 1536, the Roman Catholic Church was unimpeded and always won over Puritan proposals regarding legislation. Without a cooperative political ear, the Puritans resorted to experimental spiritual expression by changing their social behavior and structuring.... [tags: Jonson Volpone Essays]
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- Women for centuries have fought against a male dominated society in order to achieve a more equal standing. This same society and its stereotypes of women have proven to be a hindrance to accomplishing this lofty goal. These stereotypes prevailed in renaissance England and flourished in many of the female characters in the literature. Ben Jonson's classic comedy, Volpone, surely falls into this category. The portrayal of Celia and Lady Would-Be in Volpone reflects the misperceptions and low status of women in Renaissance England.... [tags: Jonson Volpone Females]
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- Homosexual Overtones in Volpone During the Renaissance, women did not participate in the theatre; hence, men, dressed in drag, played women's roles. This particular characteristic of Renaissance drama adds many dimensions, erotic and social, to the spectacle on the stage. However, "The primary difficulty in surveying this landscape results from the strong indications that early modern eroticism was fundamentally different from that today. Consequently, the challenge deciphering what may be radically different cultural codes for the Rena issance is formidable" (Zimmerman 7).... [tags: Jonson Volpone]
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- Many critics of Ben Jonson's 'Volpone' have argued that it is not a true comedy but rather a mix of tragedy, comedy, and satire. Many have also claimed that it follows the traditional beast-fable that can be found in the tales of Aesop. Although Volpone takes on some characteristics of tragedy, it seems to follow closer to the conventions of comedy. But it is not the traditional form of comedy. It is a play that takes on the form of a comical satire as well as a morality play. It also adapts the features of a fable in that it strives to teach a moral.... [tags: Ben Jonson Volpone Essays]
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- 'It invites us to laugh at things which with only a slight shift of perspective are troubling and disturbing rather than funny' The backbone of ' Volpone' is a tale of a dark and absurd world where twisted, greedy characters deceive and attempt to deceive each other. Despite this bleak situation it is a very funny play, the humor increases as the characters sink to new levels. This interplay of disturbing human fault with witty humor does indeed allow us to laugh at situations that are at a second glance horrific and distressful.... [tags: Jonson Volpone Essays]
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- Ben Jonson’s Volpone is highly occupied with the evolving city setting during the early seventeenth century in London where international trade, migration and commercial commotion played the imperative role to shape and reshape people’s attitude to life. This evolving urban panorama entices moral decay of individuals and corruption in institutions. Fraudulence, deception, covetousness, greed, and selfishness become the means of individual existence in the exceedingly cutthroat money-making society.... [tags: literary analysis, cultural theory]
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- 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.... [tags: English Literature]
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- Consider the end of the play, the lack of resolution in the Bonario - Celia relationship, the class based difference in the severity of Volpone and Mosca`s punishments, the situation in which Corbaccio, Voltore and Corvino are left. Do you find the ending just and in structure or are the unresolved situations disturbing. In the epistle of the play Ben Jonson states “it being the office of a comic poet to imitate justice.” It can be said that this is shown in the ending and that it is just and in structure as all the characters are punished in some way for their avarice and the “innocent” characters Bonario and Celia who in a way provide a contrast to the immoral selfishness, are set free and... [tags: Free Essay Writer]
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- Volpone Volpone was first brought out at the Globe Theatre in 1605 and printed in quarto in 1607, after having been acted with great applause at both Universities, and was republished by Jonson in 1616 without alterations or additions. Volpone is undoubtedly the finest comedy in the English language outside the works of Shakespeare. Daring and forcible in conception, brilliant and faultless in execution, its extraordinary merits have excited the enthusiasm of all critics. The great French historian of English literature, Henri Taine, has devoted to it some of the most splendid pages of his famous work.... [tags: volpone]
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