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Volpone's BastardsTheorising Jonson's City Comedy$
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Isaac Hui

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423472

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423472.001.0001

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‘Think me cold, frozen, and impotent, and so report me?’: Volpone and His ‘Castrone’ Complex

‘Think me cold, frozen, and impotent, and so report me?’: Volpone and His ‘Castrone’ Complex

Chapter:
(p.48) Chapter 3 ‘Think me cold, frozen, and impotent, and so report me?’: Volpone and His ‘Castrone’ Complex
Source:
Volpone's Bastards
Author(s):

Isaac Hui

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423472.003.0003

Reading Jonson with the Fabliau, Boccaccio and Chaucer, this chapter, with the help of Lacan’s theory, rereads Volpone Act 3 scene 7, explaining why Volpone ‘delays’ his ‘rape’ of Celia. While Volpone is commonly known for his love of theatrical performance and transformation, the chapter suggests that this cannot be thought without the concept of his being ‘castrated’. Although ‘castration’ is usually regarded as a censoring force, Volpone is empowered and thrives on it. Moreover, this chapter compares the scene in Volpone with another similar one in Philip Massinger’s The Renegado, discussing how the subject of castration is used in early modern comedy and tragicomedy.

Keywords:   Volpone, Castration, Jacques Lacan, Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, Philip Massinger, Comedy, Tragicomedy

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