Context of Volpone


In comparison to Shakespeare who chose solely to express himself through his plays and poem, Jonson was a more public figure, prone to dramatic commentary on literature and philosophy, highly personalised poems, as well as heavy involvement in the royal entertainments of both King James I and Charles I. He was also a lot less romantic than Shakespeare. 

Jonson was surrounded by extremes of poverty and wealth from the earliest years of his life. A friend paid for Jonson to attend a prestige school and therefore in his later life, many of his friends were lawyers or part of the nobility. 

Jonson converted to Catholicism which was extremely frowned upon in Protestant England at the time and was jailed for co-writing a play which was interpreted as a derogatory statement…


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