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Volpone

Main Ideas Key Facts
Main Ideas Key Facts

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