Volpone

Voltore Character Analysis

Voltore means “vulture,” and, true to his name, Voltore is one of the Italian men lurking around Volpone’s deathbed hoping to inherit his wealth. He is a well-spoken lawyer, and Mosca praises him disingenuously for his ability to speak so well and argue any side of a case. Later in the play, when Volpone is accused of raping Celia, Voltore uses his masterful language skills to convince the court (the Avocatori) that Volpone seem innocent. Voltore seems go back and forth between being ruled by a conscience and by his greed. When he believes that Volpone is dead and Mosca has been named the heir, he recants his testimony before the Avocatori out of guilt. But when Voltore learns that he still might inherit Volpone’s fortune, he pretends to be possessed by the devil to argue that his original false testimony was true. The play emphasizes the importance of language, which might be the reason (in addition to his flashes of moral integrity) that Voltore’s punishment at the play’s end is less severe than the punishments of other characters.

Voltore Quotes in Volpone

The Volpone quotes below are all either spoken by Voltore or refer to Voltore. 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 4 Quotes

What a rare punishment is avarice to itself!

Related Characters: Volpone (speaker), Mosca, Voltore, Corbaccio, Corvino
Page Number: 1.4.142-143
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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Act 5, Scene 12 Quotes

Heaven could not long let such gross crimes be hid.

Related Characters: Bonario (speaker), Volpone, Mosca, Voltore, Corbaccio, Corvino
Page Number: 5.12.98
Explanation and Analysis:
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Voltore Character Timeline in Volpone

The timeline below shows where the character Voltore appears in Volpone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
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...Castrone, and Androgyno to exit. Mosca tells Volpone that he recognizes the person knocking as Voltore, the lawyer, and Volpone instructs Mosca to fetch his disguise and to tell Voltore that... (full context)
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Mosca reenters the room, and Volpone immediately asks what gifts Voltore brought. Mosca responds that Voltore brought a large, antique gold platter with Volpone’s name inscribed... (full context)
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...Volpone complete his disguise by applying ointment to Volpone’s eyes. Before leaving to bring in Voltore, Mosca tells Volpone that he hopes Volpone lives for years in order to keep deluding... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
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Carrying the gold platter and ushered by Mosca, Voltore enters the room where Volpone is lying in bed pretending to be rife with disease.... (full context)
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Since Volpone is speaking to Mosca so quietly, Voltore has a difficult time hearing him. Mosca repeats to Voltore that Volpone is glad he... (full context)
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Volpone tells Voltore that he is too kind, and Voltore responds that he wishes he could give health... (full context)
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Mosca uses Volpone’s false fainting to usher Voltore out. Voltore wants to know if he is officially, legally named as Volpone’s heir, but... (full context)
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Voltore is thrilled to hear he is the heir, and he asks Mosca why he has... (full context)
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Just as Mosca finishes flattering Voltore, someone else knocks outside. Mosca tells Voltore that he doesn’t want whoever is knocking to... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 4
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Mosca puts away the gold platter brought by Voltore and tells Volpone to pretend he is asleep. He then instructs the money to “multiply.”... (full context)
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...if Volpone has made his will, to which Mosca responds “not yet.” Corbaccio asks what Voltore the lawyer was doing at the house previously if Volpone has not yet made his... (full context)
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To prevent Voltore from being named heir, Corbaccio presents Mosca with a bag of chequins (gold coins). Mosca... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 6
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...his bad luck and asks how it’s possible, to which Mosca replies that Corbaccio and Voltore gave Volpone some of Scoto the mountebank’s elixir. Corvino is furious at the news, and... (full context)
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Mosca says he doesn’t know what happened, but that Voltore and Corbaccio poured some of the elixir into Volpone’s ears and nostrils and brought him... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 9
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...exclaims that he will disinherit Bonario because of what he has done. As they talk, Voltore enters secretly, unnoticed by them. (full context)
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Voltore then steps forward, having seen Mosca apparently working with Corbaccio. Mosca is able to convince... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
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Voltore, Corbaccio, Corvino, and Mosca prepare to go before a court of law. Voltore says they’ve... (full context)
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In an aside to Voltore, Mosca makes fun of Corvino for being a cuckold. Then to Corbaccio, Mosca says that... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
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Four Avocatori (judges) enter the court where Mosca, Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino have been talking. Bonario, Celia, the Notario, the Commendatori, and other officers... (full context)
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...Volpone’s parasite. Bonario asks the court to force Volpone to appear. Despite an objection from Voltore, the Avocatori send to officers to get Volpone. As the officers leave, Voltore says that... (full context)
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Voltore says that he is about to reveal the most shameful events ever to take place... (full context)
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After some interjections by the surprised Avocatori, Voltore continues his lengthy, verbose speech, accusing Bonario of entering Volpone’s home with the intention of... (full context)
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An Avocatori asks what proof Voltore has, and Bonario says that they shouldn’t listen to Voltore’s “mercenary tongue.” Bonario also says... (full context)
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Voltore calls forward Corbaccio to testify, but Corbaccio cannot hear well, so he ends up only... (full context)
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...of rape. The Avocatori begin to doubt Celia, saying that she “has too many moods.” Voltore and Corvino depict Celia as a false, loose, deceptive woman. Voltore says that even today... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
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Volpone then enters, pretending to be diseased and disabled. Voltore says that he will offer testimony that will silence Celia and Bonario. He points to... (full context)
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Voltore asks Mosca what he thought of the trial, and Mosca praises Voltore, saying if he... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...discords.” Volpone finds it incredible that Mosca has been able to convince all the men (Voltore, Corvino, and Corbaccio) that he is on their side without getting them to suspect him... (full context)
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...talk about valuable farm land, but no investment is more productive than taking money from Voltore, Corvino, and Corbaccio. Mosca then asks Volpone how he liked Voltore’s work in the court,... (full context)
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Volpone agrees with Mosca that Voltore was excellent, but Volpone says he can’t pay Voltore yet. Instead, Volpone will trick them... (full context)
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...inventory of all he is inheriting. Volpone will then watch from behind a curtain as Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino become enraged and depressed. Mosca says that Lady Would-be will also come,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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Voltore enters Volpone’s house and asks Mosca what is going on, but Mosca ignores him and... (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.... (full context)
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In an aside, Volpone expresses his delight with Mosca’s villainy. In his own aside, Voltore says he believes Mosca has been fooling everyone else on his behalf. Corbaccio, who has... (full context)
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Thinking himself finally alone with Mosca, Voltore praises him for being so faithful to him. Mosca ignores him, and Voltore tells him... (full context)
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After Voltore leaves, Volpone jumps out of his hiding spot to praise and hug Mosca. He is... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
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...and after Volpone comments that Celia is a common woman, they exit. Volpone then sees Voltore approaching. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 7
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Voltore enters the street where Volpone (disguised) has just made fun of Corvino and Corbaccio for... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 8
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...leave because they don’t want to be around Mosca. Volpone tells Mosca to deal with Voltore next. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 9
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Voltore enters the street and calls Mosca a fly, saying that his fortune will soon turn... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 10
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...the Notario, Bonario, Celia, Corbaccio, Corvino, and Commandatori all enter the courtroom. They note that Voltore is missing, but he soon enters with Volpone. While Volpone, Corbaccio, and Corvino all make... (full context)
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Voltore continues confessing, saying that his conscience is making him tell the truth. He then says... (full context)
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...is now a person of wealth and status. They request his presence in the court. Voltore continues trying to tell the truth, and he provides a written statement to the Avocatori.... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 11
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...created his own downfall by enacting his latest ruse. He was free and clear after Voltore cleared his name, but by indulging himself and faking his death he has nearly ruined... (full context)
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...that Mosca doesn’t really intend what Volpone suspects. Then Volpone says he’ll attempt to convince Voltore to go back to the rehearsed lie by giving him new hopes—after all, it was... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 12
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...courtroom, the Avocatori struggle to make 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... (full context)
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Volpone enters, still disguised as an officer, and says that Mosca will arrive soon. When Voltore is about to address the court, Volpone whispers to him that Mosca says Volpone is... (full context)
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Once Voltore has been exorcised, the Avocatori say that if he was really possessed than his written... (full context)
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...Mosca up with his daughter. Aside, Volpone tells Mosca that all was nearly lost when Voltore confessed, but he says he has got things under control. Mosca, however, ignores Volpone, and... (full context)
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...or get him into a good family. Volpone admits publicly that he has been fooling Voltore, Corvino, and Corbaccio. (full context)
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...will be immobilized with weights (essentially a death sentence). For giving lawyers a bad name, Voltore is essentially disbarred and banished from Venice. Corbaccio is confined to a monastery and stripped... (full context)