It is the story of philanthropy and misanthropy, of patronage and ingratitude, of wealth and poverty. The plot is easily told. Timon is a rich man, a patron and philanthropist, who lives beyond his means and eventually is called upon by his creditors to pay the piper.
William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens [sound recording]. - Version details - Trove
Turning to those whom he has helped to in turn help him, he experiences nothing but excuses and rejection. Enraged, he leaves his friends and his city, Athens, becomes an impoverished and bitter hermit, and dies alone. There are four major characters in the play, the remainder of the large cast being faceless caricatures whose roles are to be greedy and accepting when Timon has something to give, harsh and rejecting when he needs their help.
It is Alcibiades who has the final words of the play. Except for a few whores, there are no women in this play, no love subplot. The narrative is linear, straightforward, almost allegorical. There are parallels to the Book of Job, although these should not be overemphasized. Yes, he is altruistic and benevolent, but one senses his enjoyment of his patronizing role. He certainly assumes that his good works entitle him to the gratitude and assistance of those he has benefited. And his profligacy and failure to use his wealth wisely are not admirable.
During the second half his bitterness and rage are unrelieved, putting him beyond the capacity for looking at life and fate rationally. The play raises interesting contemporary issues, as mentioned above, and staged creatively it cannot help but lead the viewer to reflect upon current society and economics as well as trans-historical human characteristics. This is the story of Timon, a wealthy landowner in Athens, who gives away all his wealth to his friends, throwing parties, and supporting artists and politicians.
When debt collectors begin to harass him, Timon applies to his friends for help, but they make up excuses and no one will loan him the money he needs. He becomes a misanthrope, and forsakes his life, his city, and his so-called friends, for a destitute life in the wilderness. What a cheerful play! Everyone happy and cheerful and kind! H This is the story of Timon, a wealthy landowner in Athens, who gives away all his wealth to his friends, throwing parties, and supporting artists and politicians. Ha ha! Just kidding. This is quite a depressing tragedy, with no glimmer of happiness anywhere in it.
In the beginning Timon is fooled by his so-called friends' flattering words, and in the end Timon loses all faith in mankind, and hates everyone. He's a very dumb character. Despite repeated warnings from his faithful steward that he was losing his fortune, he continues to spend more than he has, wasting his money on people who don't really care about him, and not even bothering to keep track of his resources, his finances, or any of his business affairs.
He deserved to lose his fortune, since he managed it so very badly. I have no pity for such idiocy. He didn't even try to be frugal, or even be aware of his own financial circumstances. He's just an irresponsible party boy who went off into the wilderness to pout when he lost his fortune.
The best part of this play is the riotous insulting matches that happened between several of the misanthropic characters, each vying to see who can insult the other, and inflict the most verbal damage. Some of Shakespeare's best insults can be found in this play! Apr 23, Wanda rated it liked it Shelves: the-plays-the-thing , shakespeare , read-in This is probably the Shakespearean play that I like the least of those that I have seen thus far.
They spend wildly on themselves and their hangers-on, and then suddenly find themselves bankrupt. Timon follows this pattern to a T. They realize their part in the whole debacle. He goes from one extreme to the other—from wealth to living in a cave eating roots. Timon is the most generous man in ancient Athens until he falls on hard times when his outlook on life and humanity take a turn for the worse. There is some wonderful poetry in this short play, while the structure and characterizations seem comparatively undeveloped. But apparently, we are lucky to have this work at all.
No contemporary references to Timon of Athens are known, and scholars think the play, written collaboratively with Thomas Middleton, was added to the First Folio only when there Timon is the most generous man in ancient Athens until he falls on hard times when his outlook on life and humanity take a turn for the worse.
No contemporary references to Timon of Athens are known, and scholars think the play, written collaboratively with Thomas Middleton, was added to the First Folio only when there was a problem printing another play Troilus and Cressida. Without knowing the answers, we can still be grateful that it was. So unpleasant is Timon of Athens that it is hard to read. So obscure, that only serious students of Shakespeare take it up.
So thick with monologues and soliloquies, that the memorization requisite to stage this play is staggering. Timon is a noble Athenian, who throws extravagant parties and gives indiscriminately. We all know one who thrives on large gestures , who bolster their self-esteem by picking up the tab. Timon is all the rage. Flavius, Timon's steward, heroically tries to staunch the flo So unpleasant is Timon of Athens that it is hard to read. Flavius, Timon's steward, heroically tries to staunch the flow; when he warns his master, he is told Come, sermon me no further.
No problem, says a relaxed Timon. I am wealthy in my friends. The only comedic part of the play are the phony responses of his 'friends' who recently received profligate gifts. Asked for a small return, one by one, they develop creative excuses to regretfully decline. One of the servants muses, I know my lord hath spent of Timon's wealth, And now ingratitude makes it worse than stealth. Reduced to extreme poverty, the cynical Timon retreats to a cave and digs for roots. Various characters visit him, and he spews forth his hatred.
I am misanthropos, and hate mankind. It was an interesting juxtaposition. Jul 23, David Sarkies rated it really liked it Shelves: tragedy. The Folly of Buying Popularity 17 February I don't think I have ever seen this play performed well, I wouldn't have because being in Adelaide one tends to know what is being performed, and this never has nor have any movies been made of it beyond the BBC Shakespeare productions.
This does not mean that it is a bad play, it is simply not popular though I have since seen a version that was produced by the National Theatre, and then released to cinemas world wide. The story is about a wealt The Folly of Buying Popularity 17 February I don't think I have ever seen this play performed well, I wouldn't have because being in Adelaide one tends to know what is being performed, and this never has nor have any movies been made of it beyond the BBC Shakespeare productions. The story is about a wealthy Athenian named Timon who loves being the centre of attention, and does this by throwing many extravagant parties and being very free and easy with his wealth.
However, the catch is that he is only free and easy with his money towards the upper crust of Athenian society. He shows no care or interest in the poor. He only does what he does to be the centre of attention. It is not a question of having a desire to be loved as King Lear does , he just believes that the only way to be accepted is to spend money, and the only way to make friends is to basically buy or more precisely rent them.
He is the centre of attention right up to the time that the creditors begin to knock on his door and to demand that he repay his loans. By this time he is flat broke, and when he approaches his 'friends' none of them want to know him, let alone help him out.
Thus, feeling rejected by his fellow Athenians, he leaves the city and becomes a hermit and hating humanity. Then, in his lair, he discovers a horde of treasure, and thus once again becomes wealthy, however he is caught up in his bitterness towards humanity, and turns from being a spend thrift to being a hoarder. It is at this time that the Athenians get into trouble with their enemies, and they send Alcibaides out to attempt to bring Timon back to Athens to help them fight the war, but Timon spurns them and ends up dying alone.
Timon is a tragedy, and he is a tragic hero. He also has a tragic flaw that brings about his downfall, and that is his shallowness and unforgiving nature. Like most well made tragedies it is not the case that one is blameless, because Timon is far from it. Further, Timon does not exact any sympathy because he wasn't a philanthropist. He never used his money to help the poor, he used his money to live the highlife with the upper crust of society.
When he leaves Athens, he leaves as a bitter man hating humanity. He does not forgive. One might point at the Athenians and blame them for Timon's situation, but Timon is the author of his own misfortune. While the Athenians do not deserve his help and the setting suggests that the play occurs during the Peloponesian War his spurning of the Athenians does not illicit much sympathy either, particularly since Alcibiades was the only person who actually stood up for him. Therefore, in dying alone one responds by saying that he only has himself to blame.
Anyway, I read it and liked it and would like to watch it on stage. I love Harold Bloom—he is never dull. Each man to his stool, with that spur as he would to the lip of his mistress; your diet shall be in all places alike. Make not a city feast of it, to let the meat cool ere we can agree upon the first place: sit, sit. The gods require our thanks. For your own gifts, make yourselves praised: but reserve still to give, lest your deities be despised.
Lend to each man enough, that one need not lend to another; for, were your godheads to bo Each man to his stool, with that spur as he would to the lip of his mistress; your diet shall be in all places alike. Lend to each man enough, that one need not lend to another; for, were your godheads to borrow of men, men would forsake the gods. Make the meat be beloved more than the man that gives it. Let no assembly of twenty be without a score of villains: if there sit twelve women at the table, let a dozen of them be as they are. The rest of your fees, O gods! For these my present friends, as they are to me nothing, so in nothing bless them, and to nothing are they welcome.
Sep 17, Cindy Rollins rated it liked it Shelves: , , reread , shakespeareaudio , shakespeare , audiobooks. Update: I listened to the Arkangel recording in November of I liked the play better this time around and so I am upping my stars from 2 to 3. This is one of my least favorite plays.
I am not sure why but maybe it is because I did not like the video we watched of it years ago. It was very true to the play with Timon wearing very few clothes. Once again, a lot is going on here and I did not read the play as well as I should have. It could have easily ended happily or at least positively, bu Update: I listened to the Arkangel recording in November of It could have easily ended happily or at least positively, but instead it only ends in more bitterness.
It is a cautionary tale, reminding me of the Bible passage about the unworthy servant who had his owner's clients write out lesser amounts on their bills so that he would have a place to go when he was let go. Timon was not quite as fortunate in his friends.
Even when he finds a stash of gold it gives him no joy since he knows now that money cannot buy friends. I didn't actually read this edition. I work for a theatre company currently doing a production - because of all the entrances and exits by the actors I need to be pretty familiar with the script as house manager.
So the version I read was a copy from the director and was full of her notes and insights. That said, this play is probably Shakespeare's greatest secret. It's so relevant. It's relatable. We follow Timon said Tie-mon I legit said the l So I legit said the latter the first time oops who loves to lavish gifts on his friends. He throws parties, he helps his friends when they're in need. And they all love him too This play is clever and has so many biting and powerful moments. I really don't understand why it isn't more popular.
There is so much to get into here, yeah it's a bit hard to get into at first. But once you get past the language to the real climax of the plot it hooks you in. There is something so modern about this story. Like many of Shakespeare's plays the story itself transcends time and language and becomes something so real I think in a way there is something all of us can see of ourselves in Timon. Which makes the end of this all the sadder. Apr 21, Lorraine rated it really liked it Shelves: scripts. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. I went into this thinking he was the victim of others taking advantage of his good nature. To a degree, this is true, but Timon thought he could buy his friends in the most naive way. He thought people liked this about him. Coming away from this, maybe we are more multifaceted than we realize. Scholars have apparently attributed this to a joint authorship. I have no idea if that's true, but with the flow of the story it certainly makes sense. I love seeing him hone his skills in different works and seeing the many factors that affect whether that play will fail or succeed.
I would love to see this one performed live. Graves only be men's works and death their gain! Sun, hide thy beams! Timon hath done his reign. Certainly not one of William Shakespeare's best works I can understand why "Timon of Athens" is rarely staged.
It is thought to be a collaboration between Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton -- which may be why the play feels really uneven -- as if different parts were written by different people and patched together later. The plot is fairly simplistic -- Timon, an Athenian lord is so anxious to spread his wealth around to his friends that he eventually runs out of money and has to sell all of his lands. He becomes bitter after hearing the variety of excuses his friends provide for not helping him out in his financial need.
There is a subplot involving a march into Athens by a soldier, but it wasn't particularly well developed or else I had difficulty following it, I'm not sure which was the case. The action in the play is very slow and the plot is a bit too simplistic to keep things interesting. I'd recommend this one only to Shakespeare completists.
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Timon of Athens
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