Ben Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. He is known for his satirical plays such as Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair. Jonson was a great reader and lover of controversy. He had an unparalleled breadth of influence on Jacobean and Caroline playwrights and poets. In 1616 he received an annual pension of 100 marks making him the first Poet Laureate of England. Volpone or The Fox was first produced in 1606, drawing on elements of city comedy, black comedy and animal fable. It is a comedic satire based on greed and lust. Volpone pretends to be on his deathbed. He receives three visitors bearing expensive gifts each hoping to become is heir. This main plot is interspersed with episodes involving the English travelers Sir and Lady Politic Would-Be and Peregrine. Sir Politic constantly talks of plots and his outlandish business plans, while Lady Would-Be annoys Volpone with her ceaseless talking.