Ben Jonson

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Volpone: Act 5, Scene 6 Summary & Analysis

Corbaccio and Corvino are talking in the street, agreeing that they need to maintain the stories they told in court. Volpone enters in disguise, and he merrily greets Corvino and Corbaccio, pretending that he thinks they have inherited a vast amount of wealth from Volpone. He makes fun of them, pretending to think that they are being modest to conceal their wealth. They grow furious, and after Volpone comments that Celia is a common woman, they exit. Volpone then sees Voltore approaching.
Volpone’s interaction with Corbaccio and Corvino is rife with dramatic irony, since he pretends to think that they are acting modest, when in reality, he is the one who is in disguise. Of course, this also draws attention to the fact that all three men are simply characters acting in a stage production.
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