Paradise Lost and Volpone: Context



  • Historical: Milton's view of Women was more moderate than most of the time. 
  • Literary: Milton was inspired to write epic poetry after having read Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid.
  • Religious: Milton’s epic stands as a remarkable presentation of biblical stories meant to engage Christian readers and help them to be better Christians.
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VOLPONE: Context

  • Historical: Jonson grew up in Charing Cross, a mile outside the walled city of London, where the poor and wealthy alike lived in close proximity.
  • Theatrical: Commedia Dell’arte was a form of theatre characterised by masked ‘types’ which began in Italy in the 16th Century. 
  • Biographical: Volpone was Jonson’s attempt to unite his violent past with his views on morality and art through his classical education at Westminster.
  • Geographical: Venice had suffered years of English stereotyping that had led to its viewing as the seat of greed, corruption and decadence.
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