For this assignment, you will be thinking about the play through the lens of performance. Choose one of the following two questions. Your answer will be 500-600 words.
1. Think like an actor. Choose a role from Volpone that you’d like to play and begin by rereading that character’s lines. While you do so, try to get into the character’s psyche and understand his or her perspective on the events of the play. Then choose four separate lines/comments/brief speeches that you believe are quintessential to that character. Discuss and analyze each in depth. What does that speech tell you about this character? In either your introduction or conclusion–you don’t need both–present a broader view of the character. This discussion should be overarching but still detailed; be sure to avoid generalizations.
2. Think like a director. Consider how you’d direct the three “birds of prey”: Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino. While in many respects the three men are similar, Jonson has delineated three separate characters, each with their own idiosyncrasies. Consider how you would direct the three actors playing these roles. What details distinguish each character? What is revealing about those details? How should the actor perform the role? How should he dress, move, or speak? Whom would you cast for each and why? (If you can’t actually think of an actor, you can just describe your ideal actor.)
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