Volpone can be consider as a greed and morality play . Discuss !!!

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The Argument (Morality)

In the Argument, the two main characters of the play are first introduced. Volpone, which means "fox" in Italian, and Mosca, which means "fly" in Italian, are both appropriately named in keeping with the theme of Animalization. Right away, the reader or viewer is alerted to the characters' status as allegorical, which invites us to consider the play as much as a fable as an entertainment. This suits Jonson's stated moral intention.

The very existence of the Argument also reinforces this moral intention. Jonson describes the main action of the play before we see it; thus nothing that follows should come as much of a surprise. The Argument transforms a first reading (or viewing) of the play into a second reading. That is, we are freed from sorting out what is happening so that we can concentrate on why it is happening. This is Jonson's hope - as articulated in the Prologue: that his audience will focus on the moral lessons of the play, the "why," rather than simply on the plot, the "what."




The theme of greed pervades the entire play. It is embodies by Volpone, Mosca, and all the "clients." In his opening soliloquy, Volpone displays how utterly consumed by greed he is. In a sense, greed defines the major conflict of Volpone. Volpone's scam is born of his own greed and fed by the greed of his "clients." After Mosca compares Celia's beauty to that of gold, Volpone's greed inspires unconquerable desire for her. Because greed is all that he knows, Volpone even resorts to it as a tactic for seducing Celia. Ultimately, it is greed which causes Volpone and Mosca's downfall. Because they cannot agree to share the fortune in 5.12, Volpone unmasks himself and brings Mosca down with him.



Volpone (Satirical Elements)

The play's title character is its protagonist, though an inconsistent one He disappears in Act IV, seemingly replaced by Mosca, and is first an instrument and then a victim of Jonson's satire of money-obsessed society. He is an instrument of it because it is through his ingenuity and cleverness that Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino are duped and he seems to share in Jonson's satiric interpretation of the events, observing in I.v "What a rare punishment / Is avarice to itself." But the satire eventually turns back on him, when he becomes a victim of Mosca's "Fox-trap." The reason he is ensnared by Mosca is that he cannot resist one final gloat at his dupes, oblivious to the fact that in doing so, he hands over his entire estate to Mosca. This lack of rational forethought and commitment to his own sensual impulses, is characteristic of Volpone. He enjoys entertainment, banquets, feasts, and love- making. He hates having to make money through honest labour or cold, heartless banking, but he loves making it in clever, deceitful ways, especially as a means toward food and lovemaking. He is a creature of passion, an imaginative hedonist continually looking to find and attain new forms of pleasure, whatever the consequences may be. This dynamic in his character shapes our reaction to him throughout the play. At times, this hedonism seems fun, engaging, entertaining, and even morally valuable, such as when he is engaged in the con on his fortune hunters. But his attempted seduction of Celia reveals a darker side to his hedonism when it becomes an attempted rape. The incident makes him, in the moral universe of the play, a worthy target for satire, which is what he becomes in Act V, when because of his lack of restraint he ends up on his way to prison, the most unpleasurable situation imaginable.



what is the motif in the Volpone?


Volpone by Ben Jonson.