Volpone: Irreversible Corruptive Nature Of Capitalism

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Volpone: Irreversible Corruptive Nature of Capitalism
Ben Jonson’s Volpone depicts Venetian society and its culture of decadence during the Renaissance period. Volpone was written as England began shifting from feudalism to capitalism. The play 's didactic nature reveals the consequences of a society decayed by an individualistic and capitalistic culture, and where one 's morals and familial bonds are displaced by material wealth, warning its English audience of the consequences of capitalism and its effects on the individual. In the Machiavellian society of Venice, the characters scheme and plot against one another in hopes of accumulating riches, thereby sacrificing their humaneness by the play 's end. The play 's main criticism against avarice is formed through the deliberate exaggeration of the characters ' actions, animal symbolism, and by physically manifesting the loss of oneself through one 's environment. As such, this essay will discuss how Volpone criticizes the inherently corrupt nature of a society that perpetuates a culture of capitalism and individualistic pursuits; it not only corrupts the individual 's actions, but also reduces them to a state of permanent degeneracy, highlighting the irreversible effects of capitalism on the individual.
Before entering the discussion, it is important to define notions of the unnatural in English Renaissance society. As mentioned earlier, Volpone was written as England started shifting from feudalism to capitalism, bringing
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