the theme of poetic justice in volpone
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Jonson's notion of poetic justice begins to play out as Volpone's fake symptoms become real. Of course, even if his condition is psychosomatic, it foreshadows the punishment handed down by the Avocatori in 5.12. And the dramatic irony doesn't stop here. That Volpone still laughs at his "clients" for being duped shows his unawareness of his own gullibility.