21st century reader more related to gossip or greed

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‘A twenty-first century audience would find Jonson’s satire on greed more relevant than Sheridan’s satire on gossip’. Discuss whether you would agree this view expressed above.

Both Jonson and Sheridan present their moral message through various satirical techniques infused throughout ‘Volpone’ and ‘The School for Scandal’. Each emphasise the corrupt flaws in society in the current time frame in which they were written. Arguably Volpone’s representation of the greed in his dark sinister satire holds more relevance to a twenty-first century audience. He presents this society, dominated by avarice, through the satirical device of humour and irony to exploit the flaws in a ‘comedy of manners’. In contrast Sheridan’s ‘School for Scandal’ uses a lighter tone to portray society’s obsession with gossip and therefore presents them with a delicate subtly that enables the twenty-first century reader to fully engage and relate to the situations. Therefore perhaps ‘A School for Scandal’ holds more relevance to a contemporary audience.

Through ‘Volpone’ we witness the focus on material possession, greed and avarice, exemplified through Volpone’s comic blasphemy in Act one, Scene one where Volpone exclaims ‘God of Gold’. His repetition of possessive pronouns such as ‘my’ and ‘mine’ also enhance this theme. Jonson satirises this effectively to convey his moral message; displaying the corrupt nature and dependence on possessions in order to be content. The emphasis on wealth and reputation for social status and well being presents Jonson’s message of moral depravity and hedonistic behaviour. Arguably this theme relates to a twenty-first century audience as society’s ideals still embody the lust for wealth, and the indulgence of processions and the social status that prevails, the modern satirical work of F. Scott Fitzgerald highlights this desire in his critique of the corrupt, materialistic society through The Great Gatsby. However Jonson’s presentation of greed may...
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