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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 of Anti-Catholic discourse. It argues that the play’s profaning of the mass is specifically a parody of the Catholic Eucharist. The paper goes on to suggest that Jonson’s use of the Bestiary Fox figure also draws on a history of association of the fox and his parasitic associates with corrupt clergy, particularly Jesuits. Jonson’s own Catholicism is considered as problematic for such a reading but the paper argues that his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot and his previous incarcerations might have led Jonson to outward conformity. However Jonson’s own refusal to attend Anglican communion suggests that this conformity might be equivocal. The paper argues that the ending of the play which has Volpone sentenced to punishment in the stocks, and set free by the audience parallels Jonson’s own mortification and absolution. Jonson, like his equivocal trickster fox is both sentenced 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