Volpone Essay

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In the following essay, Davison argues that although Jonson was inspired by the ancient Greek comodies, his interpretation of them was incorrect.

Although Jonson called Volpone "quick comoedie, refined," this description has not satisfied critics puzzled by the precise nature of the play. Edward B. Partridge, in his illuminating study of Jonson's major comedies, remarks that confusion as to the nature of Volpone suggests that "Jonson either failed to create anything aesthetically pleasing or created a drama too complex in nature and unique in effect to be encompassed by the traditional categories." A play "which creates such a profound sense of evil ... seems closer to tragedy than comedy," he states, and he refers to T. S. Eliot's dictum that, although "Jonson's type of personality 'found its relief in something falling under the category of burlesque or farce,' these terms are manifestly inadequate" for the unique world of...

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This section contains 2,665 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Volpone Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Volpone from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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