Volpone Critics Quotes

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1. Jonson was in a “Schizophrenic” predicament of having to flatter the authorities e.g. the King, whilst wanting to critique it and so must participate “in the same pattern of consumption and display” he denounces.

  • Richard Barbour
  • Bruce Thomas Boehr
  • John Hall
  • Peter Hyland
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2. “a literary manifesto”

  • Anonymous 18th Century Critic
  • Sam Thompson
  • Ben Jonson
  • Sean McEvoy

3. Jonson’s theatricality is modelled on eroticised delay through irony. “Volpone’s greatest fear – which he enacts daily for his clients, as if to master it – is to be immobilised, impotent, void of desire”

  • Edward B Partridge
  • Richard Barbour
  • Jonas A Barish
  • Alvin Kernan

4. the audience condemns Volpone’s amoral actions but have an “aesthetic appreciation of the entertainment provided by his duplicity”

  • ST Coleridge
  • Mike Brett
  • John J Enck
  • Robert Adams

5. Volpone’s historonic energy is actually a mask from the emptiness of his life since he is trapped in his house and body because of his feigned illness. Stopping at Act 4 would mean his “final silence” and so his “urge for pleasure” becomes “desperate

  • Peter Hyland
  • Sean McEvoy
  • Alexander Leggatt
  • Mike Brett


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