Online Literary Criticism Collection
Sites about Volpone
by Ben Jonson
Critical sites about Volpone
- Jonson’s Romish Foxe: Anti-Catholic Discourse in Volpone
- “This paper considers that Ben Jonson’s 1606 play Volpone contains a level ofAnti-Catholic discourse. It argues that the play’s profaning of the mass isspecifically a parody of the Catholic Eucharist. The paper goes on to suggest thatJonson’s use of the Bestiary Fox figure also draws on a history of association ofthe fox and his parasitic associates with corrupt clergy, particularly Jesuits. Jonson’sown Catholicism is considered as problematic for such a reading but the paperargues that his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot and his previous incarcerationsmight have led Jonson to outward conformity. However Jonson’s own refusal toattend Anglican communion suggests that this conformity might be equivocal. Thepaper argues that the ending of the play which has Volpone sentenced topunishment in the stocks, and set free by the audience parallels Jonson’s ownmortification and absolution. Jonson, like his equivocal trickster fox is bothsentenced and liberated.”
- Contains: Historical Context,
- Author: Alizon Brunning
- From: Early Modern Literary Studies 6.2 (September, 2000): 4.1-32
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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013