Volpone

Lady Would-be Character Analysis

Lady Would-be is Sir Politic’s wife. In contrast to Celia, who is confined to her home, Lady Would-be is given a lot of freedom, roaming Venice freely. Lady Would-be also contrasts with the Renaissance ideal of a woman, since she is extremely talkative and well educated. She is skilled with language and makes constant literary references, but most of the men in the play (in particular Volpone) find her exceptionally annoying. She constantly chides her staff for not doing a good enough job.

Lady Would-be Quotes in Volpone

The Volpone quotes below are all either spoken by Lady Would-be or refer to Lady Would-be . 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:
Theatre and Appearance vs Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of Volpone published in 2004.
Act 3, Scene 4 Quotes

Before I feign'd diseases, now I have one.

Related Characters: Volpone (speaker), Lady Would-be
Related Symbols: Disease and Medicine
Page Number: 3.4.62
Explanation and Analysis:
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I have a little studied physic; but now
I'm all for music, save, i' the forenoons,
An hour or two for painting. I would have
A lady, indeed, to have all letters and art,
Be able to discourse, to write, to paint,
But principal, as Plato holds, your music,
And so does wise Pythagoras, I take it,
Is your true rapture: when there is concent
In face, in voice, and clothes: and is, indeed,
Our sex's chiefest ornament.

Related Characters: Lady Would-be (speaker), Volpone
Related Symbols: Disease and Medicine
Page Number: 3.4.67-76
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 3, Scene 7 Quotes

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Lady Would-be Character Timeline in Volpone

The timeline below shows where the character Lady Would-be appears in Volpone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 5
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...the morning’s exploits. Mosca returns and explains that the person knocking was a messenger from Lady Would-be , the wife to the English knight Sir Politic Would-be. She has asked how Volpone... (full context)
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Volpone says he’ll meet Lady Would-be after he is drunk, and then he’ll wonder at the bravery of English men who... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
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...Peregrine that he’s a “poor knight,” and Peregrine is a little confused that the “fine Lady Would-be ” wanted to go to Venice for information on fashion and behavior, since Venice is... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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...and prepares to pretend he is sick. Nano shouts to Volpone that the visitor is Lady Would-be , to which Volpone responds that she is so tormenting that he’s worried she will... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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Lady Would-be and Nano enter the room where Volpone lies pretending to be sick. Lady Would-Be tells... (full context)
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Lady Would-be continues scolding her servants, saying that she doesn’t want the Italians to see her and... (full context)
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Lady Would-be asks Volpone how he has slept, and he responds that he can’t sleep because he... (full context)
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Volpone asks Lady Would-be to drink and leave, but that only starts her talking about a drink recipe. Volpone... (full context)
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...saying that an old poet wrote that the best quality of women is silence, but Lady Would-be only responds by asking which poet he means and naming a long list of poets... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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Mosca enters the room in the house where Lady Would-be is talking to Volpone. Volpone tells Mosca to get rid of Lady Would-be, who has... (full context)
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Lady Would-be runs off with Nano to look for her husband, and Volpone praises Mosca for his... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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A distance away from Sir Politic and Peregrine, Lady Would-be , Nano, and two waiting women enter the piazza. Lady Would-be is looking for Sir... (full context)
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One of the waiting women points out Sir Politic, and Lady Would-be assumes that Peregrine is the female prostitute dressed in men’s clothing. Sir Politic sees his... (full context)
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Lady Would-be then addresses Peregrine, saying that she doesn’t want to publicly flight with another woman, since... (full context)
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Sir Politic tries to say that Peregrine is a gentleman, but Lady Would-be cuts him off to yell that she is ashamed of him and that he should... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
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Mosca enters the piazza where Lady Would-be has been screaming at Peregrine. Mosca asks Lady Would-be what’s wrong, and she replies that... (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... (full context)
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...and tips Mosca before exiting. Mosca then reassures Voltore, who also exits. Mosca turns to Lady Would-be and says he’ll bring her home. At first, she resists, but he starts to say... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...trying to accomplish. Volpone explains that all at once he’ll get Voltore, Corbaccio, Corvino, and Lady Would-be to come running, thinking that he is dead and that they are heir, only to... (full context)
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...behind a curtain as Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino become enraged and depressed. Mosca says that Lady Would-be will also come, and he says that gold is the most effective medicine and the... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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...Mosca ignores him, too. Corvino enters, and wonders why Voltore and Corbaccio are also there. Lady Would-be enters and asks Mosca if she is the heir, but he just keeps taking inventory.... (full context)
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Volpone watches in glee as Voltore, Corbaccio, Corvino, and Lady Would-be scan the will to determine who has been named heir. They all realize it’s Mosca,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
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After Peregrine and the merchants exit, Sir Politic asks a servant where Lady Would-be is and if she knew about the ruse. He complains that he will be the... (full context)