Is Ben Jonson's The Achemist the exposure of those raise money by trading on human credulity?

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When examining this play you would be wrong to merely focus on the role of the "fleecers" in their gulling of their victims and they way they are able to take money from them so easily. One of the key aspects of this play is the ease with which the "fleecers" are able to do the "fleecing". This suggests that they are not entirely to blame - rather it is the greed of their victims which blinds them to reality and common sense that makes it clear that they are victims because of their own failings.

One of the key questions you will want to ask about this play is who are the victims and who victimises other characters. Clearly the "fleecers" do victimise other characters, and they (except for Jeremy) become victims at the end of the play. However, arguably, all of the characters become victims of their own moral failings. The victims of the fleecers do learn the lesson of uninhibited greed, which supports the morality aspect of this play, but the audience is denied a traditional ending where the baddies get their comeuppance, because Jeremy is left to be victorious.

Read the study guide:
The Alchemist

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question