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  • Topic: Ben Jonson, Virgin Media Television, Volpone
  • Pages : 11 (3730 words )
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  • Published : October 18, 2011
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Some notes as a preface:

Whenever one is about to analyze a character’s personality, S/he should take the character’s speeches and actions into consideration throughout the play so as to come up with the almost proper analysis.

Q1) Is Volpone a miser or not? Why?

Concerning that whether Volpone is a miser or not , we better first figure out what exactly a miser is. A miser is someone who has a great desire to possess money and hates to spend it.

In my opinion Volpone is both a miser and vice versa. Volpone is a miser in that view that he praises and admires his fortune and tries to increase it in any way possible, even if the way is by deceiving, manipulating or exploiting other people, i.e., gaining gold is one of his main goals in his life. His great desire for gold can vividly be felt in his apostrophe “Good morning to the day, and next my gold/Open the shrine that I can see my saint”. We can also state that he is not a miser because of some reasons. First, in act1 scene 1, he gives Mosca (his lackey) some money and Mosca can freely touch his master’s gold and jewelry. Secondly, in act one scene five, when Mosca mentions Celia, Volpone directly tries to get access to her even if it costs all his fortune. Especially while he is acting like a mountebank and provides the people with ointments (drug) without any charge. He is a kind of extravagant man who tries anyway possible with the aid of his fortune to make his dreams reality or to achieve his goals. So, it is likely not to be a miser at all. Volpone addresses Mosca “My better angel! Mosca, take my keys, gold, plate and jewels, all’s at thy devotion”.


Is there any sense or point in the 3 buffoon’s acting of Pythagoras? How does this performing is related to the main action of Volpone(the play).?

The performance of Nano, Androgyno and Castrone in Act one scene two is a play within a play. This play within a play is for Volpone what Volpone is to us; that is ,the character, Volpone is the audience for the skit just as we are audience for the play Volpone.

The reception of the play is as important and satirical as its content. In their performance, they show how the soul of Pythagoras(a Greek philosopher) is searching for and experimenting the bodies to figure out which one of the bodies is the most suitable. Finally the body settles in a mule’s body. One point behind this performance is to foreshadow Volpone’s fate; it indirectly informs Volpone that someday his soul will be settled in an ass. But Volpone is not smart enough to comprehend or decode the indications in the skit. He just enjoys seeing the actors acting like fools. The main plot is directed by Ben Jonson to satirize the society in order to moralize. So, another point behind putting the skit is to tell Volpone what he is going to do not even jeopardize, but also ruins his life.finally Nano’s song about “fools” refers to himself(Volpone calls him his “fool”) but indirectly to Volpone.

What does Mosca do and say to guarantee his master’s trust? Do you think that Volpone can trust him or not? Why?
Mosca, from the beginning of the play, is doing everything for Volpone so as to gain his confidence (that is to trick him). Mosca is always flattering him by saying nice expressions and bringing outstanding ideas into his mind. Volpone utterly trusts his servant, thinking the servant has only his master’s best interest at heart. He proves his fidelity by any means. Whenever his master gets into trouble, He is always there for him to help to loosen all the tight knits and to get over all the obstacles by thinking of new lies and tricks. For example, he helps Volpone in the Mountebank scene and also in deceiving the greedy clients. Another symptom which proves Volpone’s trust in Mosca is that he always kisses and embraces...
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