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Volpone

Ben Jonson

Book Overview: 

Volpone is a comedy by Ben Jonson first produced in 1606, drawing on elements of city comedy and beast fable. A merciless satire of greed and lust, it remains Jonson's most-performed play, and it is among the finest Jacobean Era comedies. Volpone is a Venetian gentleman who pretends to be on his deathbed, after a long illness, in order to dupe Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino, three men who aspire to inherit his fortune. In their turns, each man arrives to Volpone’s house bearing a luxurious gift, intent upon having his name inscribed to the will of Volpone, as his heir. Mosca, Volpone’s parasite servant, encourages each man, Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino, to believe that he has been named heir to Volpone’s fortune; in the course of which, Mosca persuades Corbaccio to disinherit his own son in favour of Volpone

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .All he writes is railing: And when his plays come forth, think they can flout them, With saying, he was a year about them. To this there needs no lie, but this his creature, Which was two months since no feature; And though he dares give them five lives to mend it, 'Tis known, five weeks fully penn'd it, From his own hand, without a co-adjutor, Novice, journey-man, or tutor. Yet thus much I can give you as a token Of his play's worth, no eggs are broken, Nor quaking custards with fierce teeth affrighted, Wherewith your rout are so delighted; Nor hales he in a gull old ends reciting, To stop gaps in his loose writing; With such a deal of monstrous and forced action, As might make Bethlem a faction: Nor made he his play for jests stolen from each table, But makes jests to fit his fable; And so presents quick comedy refined, As best critics have designed; The laws . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Volpone or The Foxe: A Comedie, Ben Jonson
Volpone is a comedy play by English playwright Ben Jonson first produced in 1605–06, drawing on elements of city comedy and beast fable. A merciless satire of greed and lust, it remains Jonson's most-performed play, and it is ranked among the finest Jaco...more

This Jacobean Era comedy by the brilliantly learned and witty Ben Jonson is perhaps the author’s most famous play. It is about a duplicitous miser, Volpone, who pretends (perpetually, if would seem) to be dying so that he can milk potential aspirants to his fortune of their own riches. His decept...more

When money controls life, everything even honor will have a price
a comedy play by the english playwright and poet Ben Jonson
the title is from the italian word volpe which means fox
published in 1606, full of conspiracies as the usual of that period
about money and the power of its influence on peop...more

Volpone, or The Foxe, carries with it the sanctimonious themes of lust and money. It is as relevant today as it may have been in the seventeenth century. The characters of the play are ascribed certain animal imageries akin to their traits. It, in no way, uplifts their status quo, but rather show...more

هر کسی به دنبال نداشته هایش است و قدر چیزی که دارد را نمی داند..نداشته های قلیل مردم عشق و نداشته های کثیر آنها پول است.
اکثریت مردم پول را هدف غایی زندگی خود می داننددر حالی که پول وسیله ای برای رسیدن به هدف است نه خود هدف!

مردم امروز،علاقه ای عجیب به پول دارند و در دریای پول و پول پرستی غرق اند و...more

A 17th Century Guy Ritchie
28 May 2017

It took me a while to get around to actually writing a review of this play namely because I wanted to watch it being performed and I discovered this high school performance on Youtube. Okay, while it is a cut down version, the sound is rubbish, and the perfor...more

Genius Story

Could have been waaaaay shorter!

Apart from being too long, this is an excellent play. Ben Jonson is sophisticated and erudite, but also bawdy and saucy. An admirable mixture of book-learning and worldly wisdom.

Judging from the other responses here, as well as my own, Jonson's most obvious defect is that he doesn't inspire peopl...more

Moral of this story:
Always have a tortoise shell handy so you can hide from your enemies if the need arises.

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