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Volpone and Other Plays (Penguin Classics) Paperback – December 28, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441184
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ben Jonson was born in 1572, the posthumous son of a minister and was educated at Westminster School thanks to an unknown patron. In 1597, after brief careers as a bricklayer and soldier, he began to work for Henslowe's company as a player and playwright. In addition to the comedies Jonson also produced two tragedies. In 1616 he was granted a royal pension and was made, in effect, Poet Laureate. He died on 6 August 1637. Michael Jamieson has taught at the University of Rome and the University of California. He has published a study of As You Like It and articles on Elizabethan acting and on modern theatres for Shakespeare.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
The title play of this collection, 'Volpone' is Jonson's most famous play. It is fierce exploration of human greed. Volpone is a great miser who plans to make a bundle by pretending that he is dying , and receiving gifts from his friends who he promises to bequeath his legacy to. His fellow collaborator is his servant Mosca( The fly) who in the end turns against Volpone and tries to , after allegedly inheriting Volpone's wealth, keep him dead. The result of his action is disaster for all parties concerned.

Jonson's strength is in making us laugh at human folly. However his language is difficult and his jaundiced view of character gives, for me anyway , less than full satisfaction.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I came upon this play and Ben Jonson by the back door. I was watching a movie titled "The Honey Pot" with Rex Harrison. His character Cecil Fox after observing this play used the outline for his own purposes. So naturally I have to read the play to see what the movie is mimicking.

I have several copies of "Valpone" (the fox) to compare information on Ben. This is a review of the "New Mermaids Series" I have several of their series. They give you all the background information and any annotation needed. They make the information interesting enough that you feel that Ben Jonson is in the room with you. I am sure some people would not want to be in the same room. I was surprised to find that William Shakespeare acted in some of Ben's plays.

The play is well written and has many levels to it. If it did not have so many footnotes I would be in trouble. It reads like an English play yet has parts that would make Stephen King blush.
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Format: Paperback
I actually read an online version of this text provided by my teacher as part of my Introduction to Drama course, so this is not the same version I'm writing about, but is the same work (speaking specifically of Volpone). The version we read for class didn't have any notes or anything, which proved to be necessary for me to really feel that I understood it. But, fortunately, these are easy to find online if necessary. In terms of the play itself, there is certainly a great deal to be amused by here, and it is also a good example of Renaissance comedy. As someone that has always been interested in drama, I certainly considered this one to be well worth reading. Essentially, the entire work is a gigantic piece of scheming,and what happens when the plotters don't know enough to leave well enough alone when it becomes clear things aren't going according to plan. Of course, the bigger the scheme gets, the easier it is for the reader to see just how wrong things will ultimately go for the crafty main characters. I'm still not sure, personally, how I feel about the ultimate finale, but it is certainly fitting with the rest of the play.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miriam Hernandez on April 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was in good condition when I received it. Had the play I needed for class. Overall I liked everything.
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