volpone as a comedy of humours

definition of comedy of humours

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A comedy of humors refers to a type of drama that focused on characters, each character representing a type of personality. Ben Jonson was one of the main writers of this genre and you can see it in Volpone. The characters in Volpone are stereotypes. They represent a character type rather than a flesh-and-blood character whose mind we can get into when we read the play. In a comedy of humors, the characters are the most important focus, so Volpone fits this criterion. All of the characters are imbalanced as well, so their “humors” are out of sync and they thus act in comical ways. There are some characters in this play that have physical abnormalities (Nano, Castrone & Androgyno) and yet they are not as out of balance as the ones who are mentally imbalanced (Volpone, Mosca, Voltore, Corvino, Corbaccio, etc.)