Summary and Analysis Act V: Scene 1



Safe at home, Volpone admits having felt terror in the courtroom. "'Fore God, my left leg 'gan to have the cramp." With a bowl of wine, the fox tries to regain his good humor and his old lust for life. "Any device now, of rare, ingenious knavery" would make him happy. Another bowl of wine to fortify the blood, plus Mosca's entrance to supply the knavery, and Volpone's recovery is under way.


Once again Jonson begins to build the action of an act from a quiet moment. The important point in this scene is that if he will only let well enough alone, Volpone is safe. The courts and the gulls have been successfully deluded. Nothing can touch him now. Nonetheless, the audience senses that Volpone's desire to cozen people is insatiable. He is the subject and slave of his own need to play the trickster.

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