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Volpone

Ben Jonson

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics

full title ·  Volpone, or the Fox: A Comedy

author · Ben Jonson

type of work · Play

genre · Comedy (with tragic undertones)

language · English

time and place written · February and March 1606; London, England

date of first publication · 1607, in quarto form

publisher · William Stansby

narrator · The play has no narrator

climax · Act V, scene xii, when Volpone reveals himself to the Avocatori

protagonist · Volpone (though he disappears in Act IV)

setting (time) · The time of the play's writing, 1606

setting (place) · Venice, Italy

point of view · No narrator, no point of view

falling action · Scene V.xii: the judges sentence Volpone, Corvino, Corbaccio, and Voltore to various punishments.

foreshadowing · Mosca's soliloquy in III.i

tone · Satirical, ironic in the main plot; in the subplot, varying between satirical and farcical

themes · Greed; the power of stagecraft; parasitism

motifs · Disguise, deception and reality; "gulling"; the sacred and the profane

symbols · Venice; animalia

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Correction

by zwibble-dibble, December 10, 2013

In the final paragraph, when discussing the second court scene, it says

"Mosca pretends to faint and claims to the Senate that he does not know where he is"

However, it is Voltore who does this, not Mosca.

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