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Discussion on Volpone

In Ben Johnson’s play, Volpone, it can clearly be seen that all the major characters, namely Volpone, Mosca, Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino, shared a single trait which is greed. Each character devised his own ways to obtain massive wealth and other objects of desire only for himself and no one else. This is first shown by the efforts of the three legacy hunters, Corbaccio, Voltor, and Corvino, in their countless attempts to become the heir of Volpone, who has no children of his own.

Corbaccio went as far as disinheriting his own son, Bonario and giving his fortune to Volpone with hopes that he will return the favor. On the other hand, Corvino forced his wife, Celia, to sleep with Volpne hoping to gain his inheritance, while Voltore agreed to defend Volpone in a case file against him in the Senate. In addition, while Mosca served as Volpone’s loyal servant and lackey, near the end of the play, it was shown that he, too, wanted to amass all of Volpone’s fortune for himself.

Moreover, another trait exhibited by most of the central characters in the play is deceitfulness, which is best exemplified by Volpone himself as he is depicted as a master of disguise and a highly skilled con artist. He fools everyone by making pretending to be very sick while lavishing at the presents given by the three legacy hunters who are very eager to be named his heir.

Peregrine was also one of the deceitful characters in the story as he disguised himself as a merchant in order to make fun of Sir Politic Would-be. However, the ironic aspect about the play is that although greed and deceit drove every character to seek money, power, wealth, and other desires, both also made everyone appear foolish and caused their eventual downfall.

Works Cited

Johnson, Ben. 2008. “Volpone. ” The EServer Drama Collection. 9 August 2008 <http://drama. eserver. org/plays/renaissance/jonson/volpone. h

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