Check out my  Volpone book summary and review  that I created to help you understand the basics of this great book.Volpone is Ben Jonson's most famous comedy. Written in 1606 and performed in March of the same year at the Globe Theater in London by the King's Men, it was first published in 1616. Divided into five acts, it is entirely in verse.It is one of the most represented plays of the Jacobin period, temporally contiguous to the Elizabethan theater.

Volpone book

 Volpone book summary

In Venice, Volpone, as stingy as he is rich, sends the parasite Mosca to his future heirs, making them believe that he is dying. The latter, in the persons of the lawyer Voltore, Corbaccio and Corvino, cover Volpone with gifts for a speedy recovery, increasing the patrimony of man without their knowledge.

 However, men are only interested in Volpone's possible legacy. Moscow during the mission sees Celia, Corvino's wife, and praises her so much that Volpone, interested in her, decides to secretly see her to seduce her.

Disguised as a merchant with Mosca and posing as an ointment seller, he sees Celia appear at the window attracted by the calls of the self-styled merchant: she shoots the spark but Corvino reveals himself to be a jealous husband. Mosca, exonerated from the role of merchant, convinces the man to show Celia to Volpone,

declaring that the woman's company would certainly benefit the dying person: the request becomes even more uncomfortable when Mosca suggests to Corvino that the woman go to bed with him. Volpone, convincing him that the action would make Corvino deserve Volpone's eternal gratitude and, therefore, his rich legacy. The poor man shows himself jealous, accepting the parasite's proposal.

Meanwhile, Bonario discovers that Volpone will inherit the assets of the old father Corbaccio: the transfer of the old man has in fact the only interest in becoming Volpone's heir himself.

The gesture of the old man is in fact dictated by the false impulse of loyalty and honesty towards the Venetian nobleman. Bonario accuses Moscow and Volpone of dishonesty and, while he takes it out on the parasite, the latter convinces him that he is wrong: a chat with Volpone will be clear to him. However, the timing is wrong and Bonario surprises the man in an attempt to rape Celia:

 he saves the girl and Mosca, as a skilled swindler, fills Corbaccio with nonsense, making him understand that his son Bonario is furious with him. Corbaccio is frightened, disinheriting his son on the spot.

Bonario, however, with the help of Celia, denounces what happened to the Venetian Senate. Despite the heartfelt harangue, the false testimonies of Volpone and Corvino cause the two to be accused of being murderous lovers.

Not satisfied, Volpone sets one last trap: spreading the fake news of his death and the universal inheritance of his assets in Moscow, he awaits the arrival of Voltore, Corbaccio and Corvino, who question the parasite about what happened. Defeated and embittered,

 they admit before the magistrates that they lied in the trial against Volpone, asking to reopen the proceedings against Moscow. They do not know, however, that Volpone himself is disguised as a magistrate. The latter, who went to court to deny his death, is however accused of his behavior and immediately arrested and sentenced to the total confiscation of his assets.

 Even for the other characters, however, the court decides a punishment: while Mosca will end up in prison with a life sentence to serve, Corbaccio will be confined to a monastery, Voltore exiled and Corvino put to the pillory.

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