Summary and Analysis
Act III: Scene 8
Feigning a wretched state, Mosca enters and offers to let Volpone cut his throat. Before the distraught Volpone has time to take the fly seriously, Mosca proposes a double suicide. Their lamentations are interrupted by a knock at the door. Mosca feels the branding iron of the felon burning into his forehead. Volpone takes to his bed; for the first time his suffering is not entirely feigned. The door opens on Corbaccio.
The playwright gives the tricksters some time to demonstrate the scope of their predicament for the audience. Bonario will let the entire state of Volpone's wealth be shouted about Venice. The gulls will cry "cheat" and demand their money back, and Volpone will be known as a fraud and a villain. Mosca is to blame, and he is in danger of being beaten by his master. Only more cleverness can save the rogue. He is given a moment's respite, but, shortly, he will have to face two more formidable opponents.