Volpone

Celia is Corvino’s wife and her name means “heaven.” She is innocent, good, and religious, and she’s faithful to Corvino despite his suspicious. When Volpone tries to rape her she resists, and in court she constantly appeals to heaven to expose Volpone. She represents the Renaissance ideal of a woman: chaste, silent, and obedient. At the play’s end, she is freed from her marriage to Corvino by court order, but not necessarily permitted to remarry.

Celia Quotes in Volpone

The Volpone quotes below are all either spoken by Celia or refer to Celia. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of Volpone published in 2004.
Act 1, Scene 5 Quotes

O, sir, the wonder,
The blazing star of Italy! a wench
Of the first year, a beauty ripe as harvest!
Whose skin is whiter than a swan all over,
Than silver, snow, or lilies; a soft lip,
Would tempt you to eternity of kissing!
And flesh that melteth in the touch to blood!
Bright as your gold, and lovely as your gold!

Related Characters: Mosca (speaker), Volpone, Corvino, Celia
Related Symbols: Gold and Alchemy
Page Number: 1.5.108-114
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

Why, the whole world is but as an empire, that empire as a province, that province as a bank, that bank as a private purse to the purchase of it.

Related Characters: Volpone (speaker), Corvino, Celia
Related Symbols: Disease and Medicine
Page Number: 2.2.234-236
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 5 Quotes

First, I will have this bawdy light damm'd up;
And till 't be done, some two or three yards off,
I'll chalk a line; o'er which if thou but chance
To set thy desp'rate foot, more hell, more honor,
More wild remorseless rage shall seize on thee,
Than on a conjuror that had heedless left
His circle's safety ere his devil was laid.

Related Characters: Corvino (speaker), Volpone, Celia
Page Number: 2.5.50-56
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 3, Scene 7 Quotes

Honour! Tut, a breath:
There's no such thing in nature; a mere term
Invented to awe fools. What is my gold
The worse for touching, clothes for being look'd on?

Related Characters: Corvino (speaker), Volpone, Celia
Related Symbols: Gold and Alchemy
Page Number: 3.7.38-41
Explanation and Analysis:
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O God, and his good angels! whither, whither,
Is shame fled human breast? that with such ease,
Men dare put off your honours, and their own?
Is that, which ever was a cause of life,
Now plac'd beneath the basest circumstance,
And modesty an exile made, for money?

Related Characters: Celia (speaker), Volpone, Corvino
Page Number: 3.7.133-138
Explanation and Analysis:
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Good sir, these things might move a mind affected
With such delight; but I, whose innocence
Is all I can think wealthy, or worth th' enjoying,
And which, once lost, I have nought to lose beyond it,
Cannot be taken with these sensual baits.

Related Characters: Celia (speaker), Volpone, Corvino
Page Number: 3.7.205-208
Explanation and Analysis:
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If you have ear that will be pierc'd - or eyes
That can be open'd-a heart that may be touch'd-
Or any part that yet sounds man about you –
If you have touch of holy saints: or heaven-
Do me the grace to let me scape: - if not,
Be bountiful and kill me. You do know,
I am a creature, hither ill betray'd,
By one whose shame I would forget it were:
If you will deign me neither of these graces,
Yet feed your wrath, sir, rather than your lust
(It is a vice comes nearer manliness,)
And punish that unhappy crime of nature,
Which you miscall my beauty.

Related Characters: Celia (speaker), Volpone, Corvino, Lady Would-be
Page Number: 3.7.239-251
Explanation and Analysis:
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Fall on me, roof, and bury me in ruin!
Become my grave, that wert my shelter! O!
I am unmask'd, unspirited, undone,
Betray'd to beggary, to infamy—

Related Characters: Volpone (speaker), Bonario, Celia
Page Number: 3.7.275-278
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 4, Scene 5 Quotes

I would I could forget I were a creature.

Related Characters: Celia (speaker), Volpone, Voltore, Bonario, Corvino, Avocatori
Page Number: 4.5.102
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 4, Scene 6 Quotes

I will conclude with this,
That vicious persons, when they're hot and flesh'd
In impious acts, their constancy abounds:
Damn'd deeds are done with greatest confidence.

Related Characters: Voltore (speaker), Volpone, Mosca, Bonario, Celia
Page Number: 4.6.50-53
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

True, they will not see 't.
Too much light blinds 'em, I think. Each of 'em
Is so possest and stuft with his own hopes
That anything unto the contrary,
Never so true, or never so apparent,
Never so palpable, they will resist it—

Related Characters: Mosca (speaker), Volpone, Voltore, Corbaccio, Corvino, Celia
Page Number: 5.2.22-27
Explanation and Analysis:
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Celia Character Timeline in Volpone

The timeline below shows where the character Celia appears in Volpone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 5
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...all of his fortunes. Mosca amends this by saying “except one,” by which he means Corvino’s wife . Corvino then leaves without responding. (full context)
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...strange, doesn’t have the face to be unfaithful. But if she had a face like Corvino’s wife , he begins, and Volpone interrupts to ask if Corvino’s wife is beautiful. Mosca responds... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
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...if he would be the first to throw a handkerchief, but from her window above, Celia, Corvino’s wife, throws down a handkerchief. Volpone thanks her and says he’ll give her something... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
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...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... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
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...wounded within, as he has been shot by cupid and is filled with desire for Celia. He says he can’t live without Mosca’s help. Mosca says he wishes that Volpone had... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
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Corvino, with a sword in his hand, drags Celia into a room of his house. He shouts that his honor has been lost, and... (full context)
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Celia tries to calm Corvino down, but she’s unable to. He asks her what she could... (full context)
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Celia pleads that she never acts inappropriately and she says she only leaves the house infrequently... (full context)
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Corvino is interrupted by a knock, at which point he tells Celia to go away and hide herself in another part of the house away from windows.... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 6
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...Mosca to inform Volpone of his decision, and Mosca says he’ll send for Corvino and Celia when the time is right. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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...responds that she is so tormenting that he’s worried she will make him stop desiring Celia. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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...says that he feels alive and ready for both trickery and his sexual encounter with Celia. He gets into bed and draws the bed curtains. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 7
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Corvino and Celia enter the room where Volpone is lying in bed and Bonario is hiding. Mosca intercepts... (full context)
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While Corvino explains the situation to Celia, Mosca tells Bonario that Corbaccio isn’t to come for a half an hour. He tells... (full context)
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Corvino says to Celia that there is no going back now, and that since he ordered her to sleep... (full context)
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Celia then begs Corvino to be jealous and to act like her sleeping with Volpone is... (full context)
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Corvino instructs Celia to go to Volpone and threats to hit her if she disobeys. Celia says that... (full context)
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Corvino becomes increasingly angry that Celia will not acquiesce, believing she is intentionally trying to disgrace him. Mosca interrupts Corvino’s fury... (full context)
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...never “tasted the true love of heaven.” He says that the person who would sell Celia for personal gain has sold his part in paradise, and has found a buyer in... (full context)
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Celia protests, but Volpone keeps talking. He says that she shouldn’t let the fact he was... (full context)
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Volpone asks Celia why she is sad, since she has found a worthy lover to replace her “base... (full context)
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Volpone then attempts another song to seduce Celia, but she cuts him off and begs him to listen to her. If he has... (full context)
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Volpone responds in anger, and tells her to yield or else he’ll force her. Celia cries out to God, and Volpone seizes her, but Bonario leaps out from his hiding... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 8
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Mosca enters the room where Volpone has just tried to rape Celia. Volpone notes that Mosca is bleeding, and Mosca says that he has been wounded by... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 9
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...naming Volpone heir in the hopes that Bonario would become violent with Corbaccio. However, when Celia came in on an unexpected visit, Bonario seized her, wounded Mosca, and said that he’d... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
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...a court of law. Voltore says they’ve figured out how to manage the situation with Celia and Bonario, and Mosca confirms that they have all agreed on the lie they are... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
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...Avocatori (judges) enter the court where Mosca, Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino have been talking. Bonario, Celia, the Notario, the Commendatori, and other officers also enter. The Avocatori say that the senate... (full context)
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...to reveal the most shameful events ever to take place in Venice. He says that Celia is completely false in her claims and her tears, and that she has had a... (full context)
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...father, he dragged the sick Volpone out of bed, wounded Mosca, and set out with Celia (who was very happy to participate) to defame Corbaccio, Corvino, and Volpone in court. (full context)
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...make Bonario look bad. The Avocatori tell Voltore to provide his proof and witnesses, and Celia exclaims that she wishes she could forget she is a living being. (full context)
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...ends up only cursing out and disowning Bonario. Corvino is then called forward. Corvino calls Celia a whore, and says that she wants to cling to Bonario, whom Corvino sarcastically compliments.... (full context)
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...him. Mosca tells them that he received his wound from Bonario, who he says instructed Celia to accuse Volpone of rape. The Avocatori begin to doubt Celia, saying that she “has... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
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Lady Would-be enters the court and immediately curses out Celia as a whore. She then apologizes at length if she has been dishonorable or offensive... (full context)
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...to be diseased and disabled. Voltore says that he will offer testimony that will silence Celia and Bonario. He points to Volpone and asks the court if the sickly man could... (full context)
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...they knew he tried to prostitute his own wife. Now, Corvino says, people will blame Celia instead of him. Corvino is still suspicious of Voltore competing for Volpone’s wealth, but Mosca... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...enjoyed the elaborate ruse, and Volpone says it was better than if he had enjoyed Celia. He says the pleasure of womankind can’t compare to the pleasure of fooling others. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
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...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. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 10
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The Avocatori, the Notario, Bonario, Celia, Corbaccio, Corvino, and Commandatori all enter the courtroom. They note that Voltore is missing, but... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 12
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...sense of the new information provided to them in Voltore’s statement, which appears to exonerate Celia and Bonario. Voltore’s story concedes that Bonario was wronged and that Celia was forced to... (full context)
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The Avocatori say that now everything makes sense to them. They release Celia and Bonario, and Bonario says that “heaven could not let such gross crimes be hid.”... (full context)