Volpone

Volpone

Volpone Act 2, Scene 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Corvino enters the square outside his home where Volpone (in disguise) has been selling an elixir to a large crowd of people. Celia has just thrown down a handkerchief to Volpone. Corvino screams “spite of the devil” and chases away Volpone, Nano, and the crowd. Corvino compares the strange events to stock events from Italian dell’arte shows.
Corvino has no idea how correct he is when he compares the mountebank (which is really Volpone performing a mountebank) to an Italian dell’arte show, a professional theatre performance that used stock characters and stories. This is yet another example of the play’s meta-theatricality.
Themes
Theatre and Appearance vs Reality Theme Icon
Greed and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Women Theme Icon
Peregrine asks Sir Politic what he thought about what just happened, and Sir Politic thinks it might be some trick being played on him. He says that he needs to stand his guard, since for three weeks all of his letters have been intercepted. Peregrine says he’ll continue to spend time with Sir Politic since he is so amusing.
Sir Politic is continually suspicious of being a victim of political corruption and espionage, believing that his mail has been intercepted. This is related to his inflated sense of self-importance—he’s only tangentially involved with the events that he believes might be a trick on him.
Themes
Theatre and Appearance vs Reality Theme Icon
Greed and Corruption Theme Icon