Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Charles Edleman


The aim of this thesis is to ascertain to what extent Ben Jonson's play Volpone can be constructed through Joe Orton's play Loot. I will attempt to discover how far Loot can be said to be of use in re-examining Volpone in a different light since the emergence of Orton's brand of comic drama. I shall start by looking at influences such as Erasmus and his particular brand of humour as created in The Praise of Folly, and the implications for comedy that it presents in the form of the mock encomium. The relevance of "not what is said, but who is saying it" will be questioned and used to appropriate Loot as a tool to redefine Volpone. In using Orton to "reinvent" Jonson I shall investigate topics such as the redefining of Jonson's comic genre in the light of Orton's "black farce", in looking at recurring themes of greed and corruption. I shall also investigate how a subtle blend of genres may have produced idiosyncratic hybrids and how the plays communicate these particular elements that they appear to have in common. I will also examine the relationship between comedy and justice and the extent of reconciliation between the two in Volpone and Loot, with reference to punishment and with particular reference to closure.