Literature Study GuidesVolponeAct 5 Scene 1 Summary

Volpone | Study Guide

Ben Jonson

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Volpone | Act 5, Scene 1 | Summary



Back in his room, Volpone speaks in monologue about his experience in court. He admits faking illness was easy in private, but more difficult than he expected in public. Once, his leg cramped so badly he feared "some power" had struck him with a real illness. Now, all he wants to do is drink wine and plot a new entertainment that will "possess [him] with a violent laughter."


Volpone's fear of being struck down with a real disease symbolizes his moral corruption. He has barely escaped a rape conviction, and has participated in the wrongful imprisonment of two innocent people. So, motivated by his lust for power, he immediately begins hatching a new plan to ruin people's lives for entertainment.

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