Literature Study GuidesVolponeAct 4 Scene 3 Summary

Volpone | Study Guide

Ben Jonson

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Volpone | Act 4, Scene 3 | Summary



Mosca arrives and tells Lady Politick the prostitute he saw with her husband has been arrested. Mortified, Lady Politick apologizes to Peregrine for the mistaken identity, and wonders where her good judgment has gone. She rushes to the courthouse to see the prostitute—Celia—stating her claims against Volpone. Meanwhile, Peregrine plots to seek revenge against Sir Politick for the embarrassment this incident has caused him.


Once again, Mosca's quick thinking manipulates those around him into ensuring Volpone reaches his aim. This time, Volpone's aim is to escape punishment for his attempted rape of Celia. For the first time, the storylines converge as it becomes clear Mosca will use Lady Politick's impulsive, rash jealousy to falsely accuse Celia.

Peregrine's decision to trick Sir Politick, despite knowing this is Sir Politick's greatest fear, shows he has been corrupted by Venetian culture. Peregrine, who started the play as a good-hearted English traveler, will now transform into the very trickster he had hoped to avoid during his travels.

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