Dedication, Argument, Prologue* The play opens with an acrostic that spells out the name VALPONE in which Jonson lays out the entire plot of the play for the audience, leaving no real mystery in the text. * Jonson brags about his ability to write a play, the length of time it took him to create the story, and the promise that the audience will laugh so hard at his humor that they will go red in the cheeks.
Act 1, Scene 1* The play opens in Valpone's, whose name means "fox", bedroom. His assistant Mosca pulls back the curtains, revealing the room in which Valpone keeps his inordinate wealth. * The reader learns that Valpone is a con man and that he believes wealth is a much greater attribute than wisdom. * Valpone believes that spending money is much better than watching it rot, but this mentality requires him to have substantial income...
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