Volpone By Ben Jonson Summary and Analysis Act V: Scene 11

Summary

Volpone is discovered wandering in the street in a fearful state. "When I had newly 'scaped, was free and clear!" cries the trapped fox. "Out of mere wantonness!" At that moment the three fools come upon the disguised Volpone, who asks them why they are not at home. When he discovers that Mosca has dismissed them, he understands the full extent of his danger. Volpone resolves to try to unscramble the mess by raising Voltore's hopes anew. He instructs the fools to find Mosca and send him to the court.

Analysis

Volpone has finally grasped the extent of his danger and has decided upon a course of action that does not depend upon Mosca. This is his first mistake; the will has placed Volpone in Mosca's hands. Since Volpone has escaped from so many tight places, the audience might still expect him to pull it off once more, but not without the aid and support of Mosca. The two are invincible only when they stand together.

It is important to note that these last scenes have gone from the courtroom to the street and back to the courtroom in rapid succession. This involves moving props and actors at great speed in order to maintain the momentum of the action. It is an indication of the flexibility of the Elizabethan stage and Jonson's grasp of the values of such mobility.

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