Volpone By Ben Jonson Summary and Analysis Act IV: Scene 3

Summary

Lady Would-be declares her injury to Mosca and calls Peregrine profane names. Mosca explains her mistake, and the lady easily changes her approach to Peregrine. After a blithe apology, she exits on Mosca's arm, leaving Peregrine bewildered. As he leaves the stage, Peregrine promises to take comic revenge upon Sir Politic.

Analysis

Mosca extricates Lady Would-be from a position in which his lie has placed her. He does so because he needs her service in the courtroom. We can be sure he will not hesitate to lie again to such a gullible listener. In this scene, Jonson prepares us for Sir Politic's downfall. Peregrine has been injured and will demand retribution. Though Sir Politic's lies have been ineffective, he must be punished for them. His punishment will be less severe than Volpone's, however, because his guilt is less grievous. At the conclusion of this subplot sequence, Jonson delivers us, with Lady Would-be, to the courthouse steps.

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