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The Essays on Literary Works

The people these two fleece are also fools, though of a less successful sort. They think that they are clever, but they are in truth true scavengers unable to reason and only able to follow their greedy noses. The animal imagery reinforces this, with Voltore being the vulture, Corbaccio the crow, and Vorcino the raven. These are all ravenous birds that are actually parasites because they do not do their own hunting but rather live off carcasses left by others. In the play, they are trying to live off the carcass of Volpone by becoming his heirs, and their foolishness is emphasized by the fact that doing so would really only get them back the money they had given him in the first place. Jonson uses another convention, the unaware British people who always fail to see the greed and rapaciousness around them, when he introduces Sir Politic, Lady Would-Be, and Peregrine. These three silly fools compare to the three born fools who entertain Volpone--Nano, Androgyno, and Castrone. All are conventional characters serving a role in a plot that bitingly satirizes the society of the time and, intentionally or not, the society to come in the seventeenth century.

Abrams, M.H. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 5th ed. Volume One. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1986.

Baugh, Albert C. A Literary History of England. 2nd ed. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1967.

3. Both The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Charlotte Temple by Susanna Rowson are, at least in part, cautionary tales, with Hawthorne more the Puritan moralist showing the wages of sin in a stark and symbolic manner while Rowson speaks more to her fellow working women to show what can happen to them if they do not take care. Central to both novels is a seduction, though the authors' use of the seduction is quite different. For both, though, the young women involved, while not blameless, are less worthy of condemnation than those around them who to...

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The Essays on Literary Works. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:53, September 21, 2017, from
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