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Volpone Essay | Critical Essay #4

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Critical Essay #4

In this essay, Cohen discusses the significance and detail of the setting of Volpone.

Theseus' observation that poets give "to airy nothing a local habitation and a name" is nowhere more confirmed than in the works of Ben Jonson. To his great plays Jonson has given local habitation a hundred names and made the sense of locale in those plays almost tangible. His plays are filled with scenes that go beyond an attempt to suggest a place and try instead to re-create it in all specifics. Where Shakespeare would supply a setting with a few bold impressionistic strokes, Jonson etches in every detail with Hogarthian thoroughness. Jonson first toyed with a precisely imagined setting in Every Man out of His Humour in 1599, but he did not approach setting consistently until he wrote Volpone in 1606. From that time on, Jonson takes pains to locate his comedies in a strict...

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This section contains 3,560 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Volpone Study Guide
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Volpone from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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