Volpone Essays


I desire / the learned and charitable critic to have so much faith in me / to think it was done of industry.

--Ben Jonson, lines 110-112 of the prefatory epistle to Volpone

Ben Jonson’s play Volpone, or “Sly Fox,” was performed for the first time on...



Before delving into the tense relationship between power, possession, and disease in Jonson’s Volpone, it is first necessary to sift through the forbearing tensions between “profit and pleasure” that Jonson mentioned in the Prologue of the play....