animal imagery in volpone.


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Animalization, that is, Jonson's representation of characters as their namesake animals, transforms Volpone into a kind of fable. Arguably, the characters are not as one-dimensional as their names might suggest, but their names are fitting, memorable, and, most importantly, descriptive. If the names of Jonson's characters can be considered predictors of their actions, then the majority of the play's action comes as no surprise to the audience. Combined with the Argument, the Animalization theme reveals the motivations of every character. As a result, the audience can focus more readily on the underlying meaning of the play instead of the how and the what.



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sylvia plath poems notes