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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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‘I fear I shall begin to grow in love with my dear self’: The Parasite and His ‘Mirror Stage’

‘I fear I shall begin to grow in love with my dear self’: The Parasite and His ‘Mirror Stage’

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter 5 ‘I fear I shall begin to grow in love with my dear self’: The Parasite and His ‘Mirror Stage’
Source:
Volpone's Bastards
Author(s):

Isaac Hui

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423472.003.0005

In Act 3 scene 1, we see Mosca’s narcissism for the first time. In the language of Lacan, narcissism is inseparable from the concept of ‘mirror image’, which is how a subject gains his (mis)recognition. This chapter analyses the parasite’s joy and the connection between the ‘mirror image’ and comedy, examining the parasite’s role and how his self-indulgence constitutes an integral part in the study of Volpone. Even though the parasite may think that he is different from the dwarf, the androgyne and the eunuch, he may just be another Volpone’s bastard. Drawing references to the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup, this chapter examines how comedy plays upon the logic of the ‘para-site’. Finally, it compares the use of the ‘mirror stage’ in comedy and tragedy by making a brief discussion of Hamlet.

Keywords:   Parasite, Jacques Lacan, The Marx Brothers, Hamlet, Comedy, Tragedy

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