From the beginning. I agree that ‘Volpone’ is a sarcasm on modern-day society’s compulsion with wealth above all else. However. there are alternate critical positions that should be referred to before concluding opinion. Jonson to a great extent emphasises the satirical importance of prosperity in ‘Volpone’ . This is apparent from the gap where Volpone sacredly praises his wealth. His bed is surrounded by gold. his linguistic communication proposing Roman Catholic saint-worship: “shrine” . “saint” . “adoration” and “relic” . [ 1 ] Volpone provinces. “Good forenoon to the twenty-four hours ; and following. my gold! ” [ 1 ] The adulation of his gold is compulsive. the imagination proposing wealth is superior ( or at least comparable ) to faith. We can. therefore. deduce this spiritual subject satirises society’s compulsion with wealth above all else. as faith was seen to be of extreme importance in Renaissance Italy ; such blasphemy would hold shocked Elizabethan audiences.

Volpone’s wealths are paramount. as suggested by. “O thou boy of Sol. ” [ 1 ] This spiritual intension is a exaggeration. an exaggeration for dramatization. Volpone is stating the audience that his wealth is ‘son of the sun’ . or instead Jesus. Further grounds of profanation is Volpone’s expressing to the hoarded wealth. “even snake pit is made deserving heaven. ” [ 1 ] He explicitly values gold above religious salvation. The debut supports the reading that ‘Volpone’ is a sarcasm on modern-day society’s compulsion with wealth above all else ; the significance of the protagonist’s wealths is enunciated foremost and first. to the extent that it is even comparable to faith.

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In context. Venice was the place of degeneracy. doing it the receiver of old ages of stereotype in English play. This Italian metropolis was considered the root of greed ; Volpone inhabits this microcosm of Venetian society. Jonson sets Venice as the background to foster the impact of ‘Volpone’ as a sarcasm of society’s compulsion with wealth. To summarize Volpone’s ‘Hymm to Wealth’ . God has been dispossessed ; a adult adult male is discoursing with metal. unwisely giving his life to inanimate objects.

LC Knights explains that the gap scene signifies how “religion and the wealths of the pullulating Earth are at that place for the intent of dry contrast. ” [ 2 ] Volpone’s worship of gold is a ( possibly exaggerative ) comparing to modern-day society’s congratulations of wealth. It can be argued that ‘Volpone’ is non chiefly a sarcasm on society’s compulsion with wealth ; other important beginnings of comedy. such as sarcasm. are present. “Good forenoon to the twenty-four hours ; and following. my gold! ” [ 1 ] Volpone’s gap line challenges our outlooks. This is an illustration of situational sarcasm ; we expect supplication to be sacred but Volpone makes it loutish and secular. The gap associates faith with money. which is thought to be profane. Irony is a relentless subject throughout the drama.

A outstanding illustration is Mosca’s treachery of Volpone. where the character at the underside of the societal food-chain outsmarts the supporter and procures the luck the three bequest huntsmans strive for. Therefore. critical analysis could propose that ‘Volpone’ is alternatively an dry sarcasm on societal category in modern-day society above all else. This is farther apparent when Voltore angrily expresses his choler sing “being dispossessed by a parasite! A slave! ” after Mosca is appointed as Volpone’s inheritor. [ 1 ] Voltore is outraged because a being of societal lower status has triumphed over him. Contextually. in the Elizabethan world-view. the societal order of the category system is linked to the order of the existence. doing any destabilization in the category system deeply upseting and necessitating rectification.

The societal shame of greed and despair are cardinal subjects in relation to satirizing modern-day society’s compulsion with wealth above all else in ‘Volpone’ . Most of the characters in Jonson’s drama are brutal. moving out animalistic inherent aptitudes and rejecting their scruples. The presence of this literary fable facet is clear when Volpone tricks Voltore into giving him. “A piece of home base. ” [ 1 ] He comments to Mosca. “and non a fox/Stretched on the Earth. with all right false sleights/Mocking a gaping crow? ” [ 1 ] Animalia imagination demonstrates the characters’ unconditioned greed. comparing them to savage animals of nature. They urgently cleaving on to survival. trying to claim Volpone’s heritage. With the usage of this fable facet. modern-day society’s compulsion with wealth is satirised. showing how easy Volpone takes wealth from other characters.

This literary genre is besides apparent in the Italian interlingual rendition of the names of the characters. Volpone is a cunning fox. circled by Mosca. a arch fly. who tricks the fox and helps the three carrion-birds – a vulture ( Voltore ) . a crow ( Corvino ) and a Corvus corax ( Corbaccio ) into losing their plumes ( wealth ) . This imagination emphasises the subject of parasitism in the drama. where one life signifier feeds off another. Mosca references this in his monologue. saying. “All the wise universe is small else. in nature. but parasites. ” explicating everybody is a parasite. [ 1 ] These characters’ ends are associated with life off Volpone’s wealth without making any “honest toil” of their ain ; this is at the nucleus of the drama. demoing that modern-day society’s compulsion with wealth is a theme important above all else. [ 1 ]

Addressing Volpone as a sarcasm comedy. every bit good as mentioning to the characters’ deficiency of ethical motives. Venables provinces. “Volpone makes us laugh a great trade yet we have no uncertainty of the evil nature of the action we are watching. ” { 3 } In context. Christian instructions such as. “Ye can non function God and mammon ( money ) ( Luke 16:13 ) . ” influenced Renaissance Italy’s society. [ 4 ] This establishes that greed for wealth made it hard to acquire into Heaven. so an Elizabethan audience would hold a clear apprehension that these characters are black. Greed drives the hunt for wealth. merely to stop up doing everyone in the drama expression crackbrained. repugnant and poorer ( spiritually and financially ) .

Celia asks. “Whither is shame fled human chests? ” [ 1 ] This emphasises that the drama is didactic in relation to greed for wealth. meaning to learn the audience that this is morally and socially unacceptable. However. most of the characters seem willing to utilize any agencies to procure Volpone’s luck. associating back to the title inquiry ; greed in ‘Volpone’ satirises modern-day society’s compulsion with wealth by showing the steps people will take to obtain it.

Corvino ignores his nuptials vow to Celia ; he renounces his married woman. utilizing duress to do her bed the purportedly stricken Volpone. Marrying vows were taken really earnestly in the Elizabethan epoch in comparing to presents. In context. the Catholic Church had a mass influence in seventeenth century Italy ; Catholicism teaches the Seven Sacraments. including the Sacrament of Marriage as a public mark of giving oneself wholly to one’s partner in matrimony. Corvino. purportedly come ining sacred fusion with Celia. is so haunted with his end of geting Volpone’s luck he abuses his promise of fidelity and sacrifices his married woman. selling her to an old adult male. Volpone’s victims are prepared to abdicate their wealth in the outlooks of greener grazing lands. What is condemnable is their preparedness to give religious wealth and compromise their household. This is relevant to the rubric inquiry because Corvino satirises the extent to which modern-day society may travel to accumulate wealth ; his craving is monstrous.

Additionally. Volpone’s strategy is overridden by his animalistic inherent aptitudes and sexual desire for Celia ; she discovers the truth. When Volpone pursues Celia. it advances the audience’s consideration of ‘Volpone’ as a sarcasm on society’s compulsion with wealth. mentioning to all objects of human desire and non merely money. Celia’s beauty is considered to be an point that can be purchased. her visual aspect straight compared to material belongings by Mosca. “Bright as your gold. and lovely as your gold! ” [ 1 ] Consequently. Volpone’s sexual greed develops. exhibiting sex as an facet of commercialization. Celia offers Volpone her hankie. which he interprets as symbolic of a sexual favor and potentially a signifier of currency for the commercialism of sex. Volpone’s linguistic communication farther imposes this thought. proposing Celia can be physically bought and sold ; “Use thy fortune good. ” [ 1 ]

He is positioning sexual desire as a consumerist merchandise. offering money in exchange for sexual behavior. Celia crying. “I. whose innocence/Is all I can believe affluent. or deserving basking. ” contradicts Volpone’s offer of material wages ; being free of wickedness has more deserving to her. [ 1 ] However. as her attempts to ground with him are ignored. Celia’s function offers a satirical contextualisation of the patriarchal society at the clip of “Volpone” . showing adult females being treated like objects and currency as opposed to human existences. Jonson deploys Celia as a device to show a fragment of society’s artlessness. possibly proposing that the drama is in fact a sarcasm on modern-day society’s patriarch above all else.

To reason. Jonson to a great extent criticises society’s compulsion with wealth. as it brings about a penalty that is the primary sarcasm of the drama. Volpone declares. “What a rare punishment/Is greed to itself. ” [ 1 ] This penalty is development of each character as foolish through their compulsion with wealth. Volpone’s abominable hungering for wealth portrays him as a futile. shallow lone figure.

In the Epistle. Jonson compactly conveys that the “best ground for living” is inheriting heaven. non worldly wealth. [ 1 ] The moral characters Celia and Bonario are given their rightful heritages. Therefore. I conclude that Volpone is a sarcasm on modern-day society’s compulsion with wealth above all else ; although subjects such as sarcasm and patriarchal society are of import. they all relate back to modern-day society’s compulsion with wealth as a prevailing subject.


[ 1 ] Jonson. B ( 1999 ) Volpone. Manchester University Press

[ 2 ] LC Knights. Some Shakespearean Themes ( 1959 ; Harmondsworth. 1966 ) page 73

[ 3 ] Venables. M. ( 1970 ) Volpone and the Alchemist. Basil Blackwell Oxford [ 4 ] Duncan. D. ( 1989 ) York Notes on Volpone. York Press

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