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Volpone, or, The Fox

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By: (1572-1637)

Ben Jonson's Volpone, or, The Fox is a classic play that delves into the theme of greed and deception. The story follows the manipulative and cunning Volpone, who pretends to be deathly ill in order to trick his greedy acquaintances into showering him with gifts and money in hopes of inheriting his wealth. However, things quickly spiral out of control as Volpone's plan unravels and he is caught in a web of lies.

The characters in the play are richly drawn and multi-dimensional, each with their own motivations and flaws. The dialogue is sharp and witty, showcasing Jonson's skill as a playwright. The satire in the play is biting and humorous, shining a light on the darker aspects of human nature.

Overall, Volpone, or, The Fox is a thought-provoking and entertaining play that explores timeless themes of greed, manipulation, and morality. Jonson's masterful storytelling and clever wordplay make this a must-read for fans of classic literature.

Book Description:
Volpone is a comedy by Ben Jonson first produced in 1606, drawing on elements of city comedy and beast fable. A merciless satire of greed and lust, it remains Jonson's most-performed play, and it is among the finest Jacobean Era comedies. Volpone is a Venetian gentleman who pretends to be on his deathbed, after a long illness, in order to dupe Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino, three men who aspire to inherit his fortune. In their turns, each man arrives to Volpone’s house bearing a luxurious gift, intent upon having his name inscribed to the will of Volpone, as his heir. Mosca, Volpone’s parasite servant, encourages each man, Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino, to believe that he has been named heir to Volpone’s fortune; in the course of which, Mosca persuades Corbaccio to disinherit his own son in favour of Volpone.

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