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Volpone

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  6,129 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
Bitter, satiric comedy in blank verse is one of the great Elizabethan dramatist’s finest plays. The plot concerns a wealthy, lecherous old man who feigns a mortal illness in order to solicit bribes from greedy acquaintances who hope to inherit his fortune. Many complexities of plot and connivance ensue, but in the end, the guilty parties are exposed and punished. Explanato ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 20th 1994 by Dover Publications (first published 1606)
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AMEERA
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Genius Story
Roy Lotz
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
Apart from being too long, this is an excellent play. Ben Jonson is sophisticated and erudite, but also bawdy and saucy. An admirable mixture of book-learning and worldly wisdom.

Judging from the other responses here, as well as my own, Jonson's most obvious defect is that he doesn't inspire people to write lengthy reviews. He writes expertly, but with a rather obvious purpose; although certainly highly polished, the point is immediately comprehensible. Jonson is, then, like a mother bird feeding
...more
David Sarkies
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
A 17th Century Guy Ritchie
28 May 2017

It took me a while to get around to actually writing a review of this play namely because I wanted to watch it being performed and I discovered this high school performance on Youtube. Okay, while it is a cut down version, the sound is rubbish, and the performance certainly isn’t The Royal Shakespeare Company, it does give you a reasonable idea of what the play is about. Furthermore, if I had children and they were in a similar performance then I would certa
...more
Sarah
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Could have been waaaaay shorter!
Bruce
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This Jacobean Era comedy by the brilliantly learned and witty Ben Jonson is perhaps the author’s most famous play. It is about a duplicitous miser, Volpone, who pretends (perpetually, if would seem) to be dying so that he can milk potential aspirants to his fortune of their own riches. His deceptions are facilitating by his servant, Mosca. There would seem to be no vileness to which the two of them are unwilling to stoop, and by the play’s end all is righted so that the work may be viewed as in ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
عالیجناب «ولپن»، جنتلمنی از اهالی «ونیز» است. او سه وارث به نامهای: «ولتور»، «کورباچیو» و «کوروینو» دارد. تمارض میکند که در شرف مرگ است تا وارثین خود را فریب دهد، خدمتکارش «موسکا» نیز همدست ارباب خویش است و نقش خود را دارد. «موسکا» از هر شخص و از هر امکان سود خویش نیز میجوید. به هر یک از وراث وعده میدهد، که ثروت «ولپن» از آن او خواهد بود، اگر او این یا آن کار کند، و ... کار به دادگاه میکشد و هر یک داستانی میسازند تا دادگاه را بفریبند. «ولپن» نیز برای فرار از مجازات، «موسکا» را در داستان خویش «عا ...more
Hadrian
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Riotous farce about money and greed. Ben Jonson is no Shakespeare, but he has quite a talent.
Ela
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
Moral of this story:
Always have a tortoise shell handy so you can hide from your enemies if the need arises.
Michael
Oct 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: classics, drama
If you've read some of my reviews, you may have picked up on the fact that I love stories that have a large cast of people that don't really seem to be connected as the rising action moves along, but they all end up coming together towards the story's end. A Tale of Two Cities and The Marrow of Tradition are two examples of those kinds of stories. Volpone can also be considered that kind of story. Too bad it was atrocious.

The basic plot of this play is a really rich guy who acts like he's dying
...more
Diana
Sep 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I have to admit that even though I'm a fan of Ben Jonson's poetry I had never even thought of reading one of his plays. I had to read this one for class, and I really enjoyed it. The play takes place in Venice but it is said to allude to what Jonson fears London as a city is becoming.
Eric
Mar 24, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"Call forth my dwarf, my eunuch, and my fool"

Loving this. The Elizabethans are really the best company.
Francisca
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-for-uni
Sadly, this was boring, tedious, and even offensive (particularly towards women). Joking about an attempted rape towards one of the only two female characters (neither of which have an agenda of their own--an inevitable comparison that rises from having recently read both Kyd's and Webster's tragedies) was nowhere near a laughing matter. Silly, silly tragedy. Although it might be a great exercise on cultural change, comparing what entertained people centuries ago and how we are entertained today ...more
Nina
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-theatre
It truly is a Jacobean comedy. The fact that each character has its own passion or obsession, the satire upon them, that bitter humour... and last but not least, Jonson's language, make "Volpone" one remarkable piece for the Jacobean age. Yet, it is less violent than Restoration comedies.
I liked very much how the falseness of people is revealed in the end of the play, how they all changed themselves and were ready to sacrifice their loved ones for gold, for money.
A play that reflects reality.
غزل أدم
I read summery of the play
this play is very funny and smart
Tony
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
VOLPONE, or, The Fox. (1605). Ben Jonson. ****.
Ben Jonson (1573-1637) was one of the primary playwrights of the Jacobean period in England, and this play is probably his most famous. It’s about time that I finally got around to reading it, although it was certainly covered years ago in a variety of courses covering the literature of that time. The play is, ultimately, one about greed and dishonesty, but told in fable form. The play was mostly written in verse and featured a cast of characters n
...more
Jesse
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jonson was perhaps the first (since Shakespeare was somehow not in touch enough) representative of what we generally understand to be that thing we call "English humor"; the quintessence of which may be found in miniature here (from whence it takes off tremendously after Smollett and Fielding a little later translated it into the much more appropriate form and setting of the novel). In Volpone, specifically, we have an example of that really awful guy (since the symbol is a fox, I really couldn' ...more
Molly
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school, favourites
I hate Shakespeare.

For the whole two years of my literature a-level it was a nightmare. It didn't help that I'd suddenly found myself in this sixth form with kids from private schools, the sort of kids who went to see his plays in London for 'fun' weekend trips and then discuss how great they thought he was in lessons.

It was hell.

I was the class philistine. I've just never been able to stand any of his work, and for years I just assumed it was because of the language or the style. I figured I si
...more
Anna
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit, classic, drama
I have a deep suspicion that the is a play that should be seen rather than read. It starts with a rather dull prologue in a fairly dense poetic style and which I have to admit, made my heart sink. However, once the play got under way it gathered pace rapidly. I frequently found I had to re-read a scene as I had missed a vital piece of information which explained just why someone's fortunes had changed so suddenly. Volpone and his sidekick(or parasite) Mosca are essentially tricksters, who revel ...more
Robert Cohen
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Volpone is a masterpiece. Not in the same way that Shakespeare's Lear or Hamlet or The Tempest are masterpieces. No, it is a masterpiece of low humor, a LOL sort of thing. Think Marx Brothers Animal Crackers or Duck Soup.
The Elizabethan period was a golden age of theatre. But as much as I love Shakespeare (and I do, passionately), it's important to recognize the lesser luminaries of the period for what they were, for their originality, their humor, their pilferage of different earlier material
...more
David Ruiz
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Overall a great a story. I really enjoy the idea of the whole thing, although I wished it had a better ending. Not that it was not a good one, i just enjoyed Volpones Character. Out of them all, he was my favorite. He was a great con artist and smart thief. I enjoyed his plans behind each disguise. I found that to be comedy, especially how he fools the hunters. I feel his superiority makes him the best character even though some may consider him the bad guy. If this was a movie or matter fact if ...more
Ali
Apr 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
یک کمدی سیاه، حکایت طنزی از طمع و هوا و هوس. این بهترین اثر جونسن و یکی از پر اجراترین کمدی های تاریخ است. ولپن یک جنتلمن ونیزی ست که تمارض می کند در شرف مرگ است تا سه وارثش، ولتور، کورباچیو و کوروینو را فریب دهد. ولپن یک خدمتکار به نام موسکا هم دارد که با کمک به اربابش در پیش بردن واقعه، سعی دارد از هر شخص و موقعیت به نفع خودش سود ببرد. موسکا به هر کدام وعده می دهد که ثروت ولپن به آنها می رسد. یکی را وامی دارد تا فرزندش را از ارث محروم کند، از دیگری می خواهد تا همسرش را به رختخواب ولپن ببرد. در ...more
Irene
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-studies, 2016
I had to read Volpone; or, The Fox for an English Literature class - it isn't my obvious choice, I'm not big on reading plays.

It took me a bit longer to read it than I intended but I found the beginning tedious and slow, full of lengthy lines and speeches that didn't get me anywhere. But things changed as I read along and yesterday, some 60 pages before the end, I couldn't put it down. It was actually funny and I totally understood why it is called a satirical comedy.

Volpone and his servant Mo
...more
J.I.
Oct 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Amusing, and a thoughtful satire on greed and the use of deception, the only reason that this play falls a bit flat is that Jonson lacks the kind of witty repartee that made Shakespeare, one of Jonson's contemporaries, shine so brightly. Instead of a bunch of witty badinage, in which characters dual with each other to try and best their intelligence, we are largely treated to long-ish monologues in which one character or another (mostly the title character) expound on their idea at sometimes ted ...more
Yara (The Narratologist)
The thing about early modern satire is that it really isn't very subtle. Ben Jonson's characters are all personifications of follies and vices, so they lack depth. Then again, they were never meant to be complex, they just serve to make a point.

Volpone can be laugh-out-loud funny at times, but it's just not my cup of tea. It's too mean-spirited, there's no emotion, no subtlety, and the levity with which the near rape of Celia is discussed made me very uncomfortable.

The play makes sense in its h
...more
Moira Russell
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is SO. HILARIOUS. Seriously. It is just about a perfect comedy (my other perfect comedy is Wilde's Earnest). (And maybe Le bourgeois gentilhomme, because even when I was grinding away doing my daily 30 lines or so at SJC usually at three in the morning, with little French and less hope, Moliere would still make me crack up.)
abhishek  Chakraborty
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
I find it rather off putting, most of the comic scenes seemed forced and unlike Shakespearean comedy its not the type of comedy u can categorize as "LMAO', tedious,wearisome, dry,preachy to some extent, and most of the characters (Except Mosca) seemed flat
Ashley
There's nothing really wrong with this play, but there's nothing really likable about it either.
sologdin
rich loser and attempted rapist snares wannabe rich losers and sly servant in complicated fake death will trick.
Chad
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting play with colorful use of characters and nomenclature.
Sachin
Dec 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics-drama
Very funny and intelligent read.
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Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems. A man of vast reading and a seemingly insatiable appetite for controversy, Jonson had an unparalleled breadth of influence on Jacobean and ...more
More about Ben Jonson...
“Mischiefs feed / Like beasts, till they be fat, and then they bleed.” 12 likes
“Riches, the dumb god that giv'st all men tongues, / That canst do nought, and yet mak'st men do all things; / The price of souls; even hell, with thee to boot, / Is made worth heaven!” 5 likes
More quotes…