This same society and its stereotypes of women have proven to be a hindrance to accomplishing this lofty goal. These stereotypes prevailed in renaissance England and flourished in many of the female characters in the literature.
Language Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Volpone, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. At the time in which the play is set, men were wholly responsible for finance and they were expected to have power over women in relationships, roles that most of the male characters in the play firmly occupy.
However, the play also compares male authority, love, sex, and courtship to the social expectations of women by exploring two examples of marriages, one an extreme depiction of an Italian marriage and the other a comedic English relationship. The Italian marriage is between Celia and Corvino.
Likewise, Celia represents the stereotypical Renaissance ideal of a woman; she is silent, chaste, and obedient. This is shown to work to both her advantage and disadvantage.
Her sterling reputation initially gives her credibility in court, but her testimony is quickly undermined since, as a woman, she was considered to be an unreliable witness even to a crime of which she was a victim.
For a while, it seems that Volpone will get away with this rape attempt, as several men during the play conspire to say that Celia is lying about her accusation. However, it could be argued that, while he shows sexual oppression and violence to be reprehensible, Jonson believes that the oppression of women is less important than the moral lesson about excessive desire and greed.
Lust and rape are bad, in other words, but only because they are a form of avariciousness. The crime Volpone seems most guilty of in the play is excessive greed for money at the expense of Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino.
Lady Would-Be, the second woman in the play, is the opposite of Celia. Lady Would-Be is more independent than Celia, which reinforces the stereotype that married English women were given more freedom than married Italian women. Lady Would-Be is able to wander Venice on her own, and she is seen without her husband just as often as with him contrast this with Celia, who is prevented from even leaving her home.
Lady Would-Be, however, also breaks the mold of a renaissance woman in that she appears to be educated, certainly much more so than Celia.
Her long-winded speeches are so filled with literary references and allusions that Peregrine is shocked when she yells at him. The differences between Lady Would-Be and Celia illustrate different societal roles for women in Italy and England, which suggests that gender roles are culturally contingent, rather than biologically determined.
In this way, the play challenges stereotypical gender roles and assumptions about women, though it sometimes affirms stereotypes, too. At the very least, Volpone complicates the role of women in society by showing that women—like men—can be well read, virtuous, well educated, and well spoken.
How often theme appears:Volpone or The Foxe: A Comedie, Ben Jonson Volpone is a comedy play by English playwright Ben Jonson first produced in –06, drawing on elements of city comedy and beast fable/5. Mosca informs Volpone that she is the most beautiful woman in Italy.
Volpone's covetousness turns suddenly from Corvino's property to Corvino's wife, and he decides that he must see her.
Volpone, in full Volpone; or, The Fox, comedy in five acts by Ben Jonson, performed about /06 and published in Volpone (“Fox”), a wealthy Venetian without heirs, devises a scheme to become wealthier by playing on people’s greed.
The Portrayal of Women in Jonson’s Volpone Women for centuries have fought against a male dominated society in order to achieve a more equal standing. This same society and its stereotypes of women have proven to be a hindrance to accomplishing this lofty goal.4/4(1).
At the very least, Volpone complicates the role of women in society by showing that women—like men—can be well read, virtuous, well educated, and well spoken.
Related Themes from Other Texts Compare and contrast themes from other texts to this theme. Celia, of course, is the "virtuous woman" as compared to other characters given nasty nicknames in Volpone.
Celia is gorgeous and, even though presented with both peril and slander, she always.