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Course Hero. "Volpone Study Guide." April 2, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2018.


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Volpone | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Ben Jonson's Volpone. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Volpone, Act I, Scene IV hat a rare punishment / Is avarice to itself! Sources: British Library, Encyclopaedia Britannica,, Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Animal Names Stand for the characters’ traits and roles in the story Venice Represents greed, excess, and immorality Disease Symbolizes corruption of the characters’ morality Symbols Italian for “crow”; wealthy older man; hopes to become Volpone’s heir Corbaccio Italian for “vulture”; articulate lawyer; gives up his ethics to inherit Volpone’s fortune Voltore Italian for “fly”; Volpone’s agile, intelligent servant; does his master’s dirty work Mosca Italian for “fox”; wealthy nobleman; tricks wealthy businessmen out of their fortunes Volpone Main Characters Heralded as the secondmost influential playwrightof the 17th century after William Shakespeare,Jonson became England’s first poet laureate in 1616. Both renowned and reviled for his harshly satiricalplays, Jonson’s workexplores themes of excess, greed, deception, and transformation. BEN JONSON1572–1637 Author The female characters are hysterical and too emotional to be believed. Women’s Roles The play references fables by having a moral lesson and characters as animals. Animal Fables The characters are motivated by greed, which turns them into fools. Greed & Corruption In 17th-century Venice, conniving trickster Volpone and his quick-witted servant Mosca dupe three wealthy businessmen out of their fortunes. However, as greed overpowers Volpone and Mosca, their morality is corrupted, and they risk losing everything. A Fox Tricksthe VulturesOut of a Meal THEMES English Original Language c. 1606 First Performed Ben Jonson Author Volpone Satire Play

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