Volpone Summary Volpone, wealthy and childless,\u00a0maybe a\u00a0confidence man\u00a0who attracts legacy hunters by pretending to\u00a0get on\u00a0the verge of death. Volpone's "clients" - including Corvino, Corbaccio, Voltore,\u00a0and woman\u00a0Would-be Politic - bring him presents\u00a0within the\u00a0hopes of being included in his will. At the opening of the play, Volpone delivers a soliloquy\u00a0during which\u00a0he literally worships his gold while his servant Mosca, often called his Parasite, flits around and periodically interrupts him with flattery. Nano, Castrone, and Androgyno - Volpone's buffoons - enter and perform a skit\u00a0which provides\u00a0a sarcastic account of the transmigration of Pythagoras's soul.\u00a0the doorway\u00a0of Voltore, a lawyer, dispatches the buffoons. Voltore brings an antique plate and is told he\u00a0is going to be\u00a0Volpone's sole heir. Corbaccio and Corvino enter in succession, bringing a bag of gold coins and a pearl, respectively, and\u00a0also are\u00a0told that\u00a0they're going to\u00a0be heir to Volpone's fortune. Mosca is\u00a0liable for\u00a0their deception, including Corbaccio's\u00a0fallacy\u00a0that disinheriting his son Bonario will eventually pay dividends. Lady Would-be also\u00a0involves\u00a0the door but is told to return later. Mosca describes\u00a0the sweetness\u00a0of Corvino's wife Celia to Volpone, who decides he must see her for himself. They\u00a0comply with\u00a0attend\u00a0her house in disguise. Fellow Englishmen Sir Politic Would-be and Peregrine are seen\u00a0within the\u00a0public square outside Corvino's house at the opening of Act Two. They discuss a series of rumors involving animals that Sir Politic interprets as bad omens for\u00a0the English\u00a0state. Mosca and Nano interrupt their discussion as they enter\u00a0to line\u00a0up a stage. Volpone, disguised as a mountebank, takes the stage and delivers a\u00a0sales talk\u00a0for an elixir. When he asks for a handkerchief from the audience, Celia throws hers\u00a0right down to\u00a0him. Corvino enters and furiously disperses\u00a0the gang. Back at his house, Volpone swoons for Celia. He gives Mosca permission to use his fortune in whatever way\u00a0is important\u00a0to woo Celia. At Corvino's house, Corvino sharply reprimands Celia for showing\u00a0prefer to\u00a0a mountebank. He brandishes his sword and threatens her with physical violence before Mosca knocks on the door. Mosca tells Corvino that Volpone is on the mend but needs a female companion\u00a0to take care of\u00a0his health. After due consideration, Corvino offers Celia and goes\u00a0to inform\u00a0her\u00a0to organize\u00a0for a feast at Volpone's house. Act Three begins\u00a0within the\u00a0street with a soliloquy from Mosca regarding the supposed superiority of natural-born parasites compared to learned parasites. Bonario enters and scorns Mosca, who breaks down crying. Mosca then tells Bonario that Corbaccio plans to disinherit Bonario. Mosca offers to bring Bonario to hear it for himself. Back at Volpone's house, the entertainment provided by Nano, Castrone, and Androgyno is interrupted by\u00a0the doorway\u00a0of Lady Would-be, who talks Volpone's ear off and brings him a cap she made herself. Mosca enters and dispatches\u00a0together with her\u00a0by telling her he saw her husband Sir Politic on a gondola with another woman. Mosca hides Bonario\u00a0so that\u00a0he may witness the conversation with Corbaccio. However, Corvino and Celia arrive early and Mosca is forced\u00a0to maneuver\u00a0Bonario to the gallery. After considerable deliberation, Celia is forced to be alone with Volpone, who reveals to her that\u00a0he's\u00a0not sick. Volpone offers her his fortune, but she declines.\u00a0even as\u00a0he begins to force himself on her, Bonario leaps out and rescues Celia, exiting through the window. Mosca, who has been wounded by Bonario, enters and attends to Volpone. Mosca then convinces Corbaccio and Voltore\u00a0to travel\u00a0after Bonario. At the opening of Act Four, Sir Politic and Peregrine discuss the ways of a gentleman. Sir Politic details his get-rich-quick schemes,\u00a0one among\u00a0which involves selling the Venetian state to the Turks. Lady Would-be enters and accuses Peregrine of being\u00a0a lady\u00a0who is seducing her husband. Mosca enters and convinces Lady Would-be that her husband's seducer\u00a0is\u00a0Celia. Though Lady Would-be apologizes to him, Peregrine vows revenge on Sir Politic for his humiliation. At the Scrutineo, Voltore, Corbaccio, Corvino, and Mosca get their story straight. Though they side with Bonario and Celia at the opening of the case, the Avocatori eventually align themselves with Voltore, who argues that Bonario committed adultery with Celia and attempted to kill his father. Lady Would-be testifies that Celia seduced her husband. Bonario and Celia\u00a0haven't any\u00a0witnesses of their own\u00a0so that they\u00a0lose the case. Volpone's soliloquy at\u00a0the start\u00a0of Act Five foreshadows his punishment at\u00a0the top\u00a0of Act Five. He complains that, during the court case, he began to feel the pains that he has been faking\u00a0for therefore\u00a0long. He downs a glass of wine to "shake it off" (5.1.8) and Mosca enters to celebrate their unsurpassable masterpiece. Mosca goads Volpone\u00a0to start\u00a0cozening his "clients," so Volpone writes a will naming Mosca as heir and spreads the word that\u00a0he's\u00a0dead. When Volpone's "clients" enter\u00a0and find out\u00a0that\u00a0they need\u00a0to be been duped, Mosca berates them one by one as Volpone looks on from behind the curtain. Volpone and Mosca\u00a0plan to\u00a0disguise themselves and continue tormenting the "clients"\u00a0within the\u00a0street. At Sir Politic's house, Peregrine plays an\u00a0antic\u00a0on Sir Politic. Pretending to be a messenger, Peregrine tells Sir Politic that he has been reported for his\u00a0decision to\u00a0sell Venice to the Turks. Sir Politic panics, instructs his servants to burn his notes, and hides under\u00a0an outsized\u00a0tortoiseshell\u00a0even as\u00a0three merchants, dressed as a statesman, enter the house. Once the merchants discover Sir Politic under the shell, Peregrine tells him\u00a0they're\u00a0even and leaves. Sir Politic decides\u00a0to go away to\u00a0Venice forever since his reputation has been so damaged. In the street, Volpone, disguised as a Commendatore, torments Corbaccio, Corvino, and Voltore by pretending he has heard the news that they inherited a fortune. Voltore cracks and goes to the Scrutineo to confess that he lied during the previous court case. He gives his notes to the Avocatori but when Volpone, still disguised, tells him that Volpone\u00a0remains\u00a0alive, Voltore retracts his confession and pretends he was possessed while making it. While debating over whether\u00a0to show\u00a0himself in, Volpone discovers that Mosca has locked him out of his own house. After being summoned by the Avocatori, Mosca arrives at the Scrutineo and affirms that Volpone is dead. Volpone beseeches him\u00a0to mention\u00a0that Volpone\u00a0remains\u00a0alive, but Mosca demands\u00a0half\u00a0his fortune. When Mosca and Volpone cannot\u00a0comply with\u00a0share the fortune, Volpone is apprehended by officers of the court. Before\u00a0he's\u00a0led away, however, Volpone unmasks himself and brings Mosca down with him. The Avocatori then\u00a0pass on\u00a0punishments to Volpone, Mosca,\u00a0and therefore the\u00a0remainder of\u00a0the "clients." To conclude the play, Volpone speaks to the audience and asks for applause. Volpone Analysis Volpone\u2019s house Volpone\u2019s house (vol-POH-nay). Home of the Venetian magnifico, whose name means \u201cfox.\u201d With an outer gallery or\u00a0lounge\u00a0for dupes and\u00a0a stunning\u00a0treasure cache, piles of gold, plate, and jewels hidden behind the rear-stage curtain, Volpone\u2019s\u00a0home is\u00a0a handy location for storing the rich gifts of solicitous visitors. When guests are present, the drawn curtains hide this shrine to wealth,\u00a0and therefore the\u00a0foxlike Volpone stretches out on his sickbed in gown, furs, and nightcap, as his servant, Mosca, ushers\u00a0within the\u00a0assorted base creatures. Hiding places are important\u00a0to the present\u00a0set, for Bonario must observe Volpone\u2019s revelation of ardent passion unseen,\u00a0even as\u00a0Voltore must overhear Mosca and Corbaccio. Curtains close around Volpone on his couch as Mosca at a desk inventories the supposed inheritance of hopefuls. Corvino\u2019s house Corvino\u2019s house (Kohr-VEE-noh). Home of a Venetian merchant, near St. Mark\u2019s Place.\u00a0the situation\u00a0attracts pickpockets, con artists, and schemers\u00a0of each\u00a0stripe. Corvino\u2019s wife Cecelia looks down from a balcony, which opens into\u00a0an area\u00a0in Corvino\u2019s house where he chides her.\u00a0ahead\u00a0of the house, Mosca and a servant erect a stage for\u00a0a drug\u00a0vendor to display his wares, and a disguised Volpone mounts the platform and haggles over high-priced quackery. The period from 1576 to 1642\u00a0is taken into account\u00a0the Golden Age of English drama, although\u00a0it had been\u00a0probably not golden for\u00a0those that\u00a0lived through it. For\u00a0quite\u00a0100 years, farmers had been displaced by enclosure acts that fenced off agricultural land for pastures. This created severe unemployment\u00a0within the\u00a0countryside with accompanying high inflation. Crop failures, the threat of war abroad, and brutal religious strife had shaken English society by the time\u00a0Elizabeth\u00a0assumed the throne in 1558. The reign of Elizabeth produced relative stability, but her failure\u00a0to call\u00a0a successor brought discontent\u00a0and therefore the\u00a0threat of\u00a0war\u00a0even before her death. The rule of\u00a0James I\u00a0was greeted initially with enthusiasm in 1603, but religious, class, and political divisions soon intensified. Despite this turmoil, or perhaps\u00a0due to\u00a0it,\u00a0the foremost\u00a0important drama in Western history was produced during\u00a0this era. Rural unemployment drove\u00a0many of us\u00a0to London, making it\u00a0the most important\u00a0city in Europe. However, attempts at\u00a0polity\u00a0led to widespread disorder\u00a0and therefore the\u00a0establishment of a capitalistic economy\u00a0in situ\u00a0of the feudal agrarian social order. The writers of\u00a0this era\u00a0grappled with new ideas about science and philosophy, religion, and politics.\u00a0additionally, there was also\u00a0a replacement\u00a0emphasis on individual thought, action, and responsibility. Playwrights thought of themselves as poets but\u00a0weren't\u00a0considered\u00a0serious artists,\u00a0very much like\u00a0we regard screenwriters today. Playwrights\u00a0clothed\u00a0a billboard\u00a0product. Once sold, plays became the property of acting companies and when published, were more likely\u00a0in touch\u00a0the name of the acting company than the\u00a0writer's name\u00a0.\u00a0it had been\u00a0not until the seventeenth century when Jonson published his plays (in 1616) and a folio of Shakespeare's works were published (in 1623), did\u00a0the thought\u00a0that plays have literary merit occur. But because plays weren't\u00a0considered\u00a0serious literature, playwrights had\u00a0the chance\u00a0to\u00a0affect\u00a0any subject that interested them. In 1576,\u00a0the primary\u00a0permanent theatre was built. This led to a greater\u00a0social station\u00a0for theatre people.\u00a0the situation\u00a0was out of town,\u00a0thanks to\u00a0religious problems. Puritans thought actors were sinful, with substandard morals, because the social milieu of the playhouse was loose\u00a0and sometimes\u00a0libertine. There was also the philosophical argument that acting was lying, role-playing. Despite those\u00a0problems, plays brought large numbers\u00a0of individuals\u00a0together and correspondingly increased crime and disease, so city officials often sided with Puritans in wanting theatres outside town. Theatres also enticed people from their jobs\u00a0then\u00a0affected trade.