Tag Archives: satire

Satire of the modern human condition

Volpone is a very interesting satire of the modern human condition. The play’s major themes and motifs (greed, deceit, & parasitism) are still some of the major flaws of man today. Johnson’s satire brings to light the inner con artist in everyone.

Johnson’s work resonates with the audience because we are constantly surrounded by the same greed that the character’s have. The lawyers in Volpone are not so different from the lawyers in the present day! Everyday, there are commercials of law firms advertising that they will get the most money for you out of your divorce. Some commercials give you the impression that you will make more money getting a divorce than remaining married. This makes you question the honesty of the lawyers who are prepared to argue for any side at the right price. They also may manipulate the law to get you more money so they can have a larger piece of the percentage. (I’m not trying to throw all lawyers into this argument, just the ones with the low budget commercials)

Volpone’s big con has taken years of planning and disguise. He has put a lot of time into the con and if he pulls it off, he will reap a large reward. We hear of these kinds of cons everyday. Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme was going on for many years. He was able to make millions off of others, and like a parasite did it very discretely. When he was exposed everything fell apart and many people fell with Madoff. When Volpone is exposed to the court many fall with him as well.

This play was written in the 1606 and discusses some of the major flaws that still exist in the human condition. Johnson’s work is an excellent exemplary¬† of¬† an effective satire.


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