Literature Study GuidesVolponeAct 3 Scene 5 Summary

Volpone | Study Guide

Ben Jonson

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Volpone | Act 3, Scene 5 | Summary



When Mosca finally arrives, Volpone begs him to get rid of Lady Politick at any cost. Mosca tells Lady Politick he just saw her husband walking down the street with a beautiful courtesan, and that if she hurries, she might still catch them. As Lady Politick rushes out, Mosca instructs Volpone to prepare for Celia's arrival.


This scene contrasts jealousy and infidelity in two marriages. Compared to Corvino's response to Celia's supposed infidelity, Lady Politick's reaction to Mosca's news that Sir Politick was in the company of a prostitute is portrayed as emotional and hysterical. She never questions the reliability of information, but rushes into the street to confront her husband. Audiences likely laughed at Lady Politick's reaction because, at the time, women's emotions were not taken seriously, and Lady Politick's jealousy would be considered comical rather than tragic.

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