Timon of Athens
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Timon of Athens

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  1,730 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Karl Klein introduces Shakespeare's play as a complex exploration of a corrupt, moneyed society, and Timon himself as a rich and philanthropic nobleman who is forced to recognize the inherent destructiveness of the Athenian society from which he retreats in disgust and rage. Klein establishes Timon as one of Shakespeare's late works, arguing that evidence for other authors...more
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Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (first published 1607)
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Jim
Even in William Shakespeare's minor plays can the reader descry a certain magnificence, accompanied by a glory of language that no writer today can match. The Arden edition I read was almost as insistent in its footnotes as one of the Variorum editions of the Bard, but past the first scenes, the main text carried me along; and I did not have to refer to the copious footnotes unless I ran into too strange a usage.

Timon of Athens - Arden Shakespeare is a rather simple story which can be summarized...more
Bruce
Timon of Athens seems not to have been staged during Shakespeare’s lifetime. Some have claimed that it was never completed, and others have viewed it as the collaborative effort of Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton. It has sometimes been viewed as a weak play with cardboard characters, but it is probably increasingly relevant to our own day, our own culture. It is the story of philanthropy and misanthropy, of patronage and ingratitude, of wealth and poverty.

The plot is easily told. Timon is a ric...more
Cody
Timon of Athens
William Shakespeare

Read through act 2 scene 2(all of act 2)

Summary- Timon is a very generous man, he squanders his wealth (that he seemingly acquires by magical touch (no he doesn’t use his 5 finger discount)) on parties and gifts for his friends. Apemantus is a jerk but right when he says this life style will not suffice and it only gathers flatterers not friends. He refuses to accept payments for his gifts. His servant Flavius (Flay-va Flave!) tells him his wealth is diminishing...more
Toni
Timon of Athens is one of Shakespeare’s least produced plays. I’ve never seen it. Most people I know haven’t—maybe because they don’t want to? Anyway, I read it and liked it and would like to watch it on stage. It’s a “problem” play and doesn’t fit neatly into any of the four standard categories of Shakespeare’s plays; i.e., Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, and Romances.
Timon is a philanthropist’s philanthropist in the first three acts. He gives away gifts and money lavishly; in fact, I’d say co...more
Surina Thapar-Masih
Timon does not have the usual psychopathology of Shakespeare’s tragic protagonists-where (in tragedies) women tend towards hysteria & men towards complexed intellectualisation & madness. This change is largely due to the fact that the play is a collaborative project between Shakespeare & Middleton. In many ways the depiction of Athens mirrors the Jacobean London of Middleton’s works. The play does not fall strictly into the category of tragedy but is rather a combination of tragedy a...more
Esdaile
By chance I began to read Timon of Athens again after such a long break that I cannot remember what it was like and therefore had put it on my "to read" list. Perhaps I was prompted by the fact that a production in modern dress is currently showing in London.

At a second reading I am struck by the fact that it is rather a better play than its reputation allows.

Of all plays attributed to Shakespeare I think none better than this one more completely confounds James Shapiro and all those like him,...more
Ben
This play reminded me of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" or Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" . . . . only in reverse. Timon is a generous man who lives beyond his means. He feels blessed to have many friends, but, unlike George Bailey, when Timon calls on them they all abandon him in his time of need. Timon becomes in return a recluse, a misanthrope, a hater of humanity: "Timon will to the woods; where he shall find/The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind"; "I am Misanthropos, and hate ma...more
Bill  Kerwin

This time I liked "Timon" less than the two other times I read it. Much of it is probably not even by Shakespeare. and--although Middleton does his professional best to keep the first few acts chugging along--most of it lacks the spark of genius. There are moments in Timon's rants that are characteristically Shakespearean and memorable not only for their poetic intensity but also for the savagery of their vitriol, but they are not enough to save this pathetic pageant (no, it is nothing close to...more
Eyehavenofilter
In this collaboration with Middleton we see a different tone in a Shakespeare play as we watch in horror, a man fall from wealth and stature to poverty and wretchedness both in mind, heart and soul. Spending everything, his money and his friendships till he is nothing but a nasty vile shell of himself and finally dies. May The Lord have mercy on what ever soul left his body before he reached that state.
Benjamín
Wanting to read something Shakespeare, unspoiled both visually and narratively by modern-day filmmaking, I picked out Timon of Athens, one of William's latter-day dramas (or problem plays depending on who you ask). It may not have been the best choice. The play is fragmentary in nature and at times seems either unfinished or unedited; as such I had trouble visualizing some scenes or finding an overarching meaning in the narrative.

The plot follows Timon, a wealthy man who likes to wine and dine f...more
Hollis
There are certainly moments of great poetry in this play, but ultimately it is an imperfect work when compared to his others.
American Shakespeare Center
After wealthy Athenian Timon spends all his money entertaining, supporting, and bailing out his friends, he anticipates their help in his time of need. When his “friends” turn him down one-by-one, Timon transforms from Shakespeare’s most liberal spendthrift into his most tight-fisted misanthrope. A perfect play for our turbulent financial times, Timon of Athens makes us question the meaning of friendship, generosity, and gratitude.

Come see it live onstage at the American Shakespeare Center's Bla...more
§--
Nov 08, 2010 §-- rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: misanthropes like me
Shelves: shakespeare, plays
ALCIBIADES

What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee,
That art thyself a man?

TIMON

I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
That I might love thee something.


Flawed, overwritten, garbled, yet still profound. Melville loved this play and it's not hard to see why: it deals with an eternal human problem--whom to trust? Just as Hamlet deals with the mystery of death, Macbeth the mystery of conscience, Othello the mystery of evil, King Lear the mystery of sufferi...more
Jimyanni
Not really one of Shakespeare's better stories; it had potential, given that it's NOT a love story (my largest single objection to most of Shakespeare is that his concept of romantic love strikes me as not just mistaken, but downright pernicious, given that so many people use his concept as their model of what "love" is, and that has led to many, many emotional traumas through the centuries) but even without that difficulty to cause problems in this play, I found the plot somewhat lacking; imagi...more
David Sarkies
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 has 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.
The story is about a wealthy Athenian named Timon who loves to be the centre of attention, and does this by throwing many extravagant parties and being very free with his wealth. However, the ca...more
V
I actually finished reading the play a couple weeks ago and haven’t had the time to write some notes until now. This is a very interesting play, and it has stayed with me since I finish it. I really value my friendships, and this play certainly made me think.
Timon’s behavior shifts like a pendulum: From one who loves humanity to one who was enraged and hates his fellow man. In fact, one critic writes: “Like many of Shakespeare’s heroes, Timon is a self-absorbed character, who must learn a lesson...more
Ibis3
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicholas Whyte
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1204543.html[return][return]Timon is an Athenian whose generosity knows no bounds: certainly not, as it turns out, the bounds of his own finances. Meantime his friend Alcibiades leads an army against Athens for obscure reasons. Timon flees Athens because of his debts and dies in a cave, having coincidentally though not happily discovered a vast store of gold, while Alcibiades marches mercilessly on Athens.[return][return]There are several serious problems: the style...more
علی
For me, reading a play is kind of ”one man performance”, and totally different experience comparing to the very same play’s performance at theatre or in film form. I consider them as three different versions of one story.
گفتن از شکسپیر و آثارش به تابو می ماند. کمتر کسی شهامت دارد بگوید از این یا آن اثر شکسپیر، خوشش نمی آید. یا عیب و ایرادی بر یکی از آثار او بگیرد. این واویلا بیشتر می شود وقتی انگلیسی، زبان دوم یا سومت باشد، و با ادبیات و زبان کهنه ی انگلیسی قرن شانزدهم بکلی بیگانه باشی! بهررو، م...more
Núria
Seguro que ésta no es una de las mejores obras de Shakespeare. Casi parece hecha de forma algo chapucera, porque hay varias incoherencias y algunas líneas argumentales que no se cierran o ni siquiera se explican. Pero aún así es una obra maja que nos cuenta que cuando las cosas nos van bien tenemos muchos amigos, pero que es cuando las cosas nos van mal que descubrimos quién son nuestros verdaderos amigos. En cierto modo es casi como un cuento moral, pero sin moralismo. Timón es un ricachón que...more
Amerynth
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 h...more
Salvatore
Timon gets angry. His life, as soon as he becomes Misanthropos (superhero/-villain name!), gets rather existential and dark. I like this one. Although when I saw it performed I liked it less. Maybe it's more amusing to contemplate a man's ire for the world than it is to see it. Also, Flavius seems like a predecessor of Gerasim in Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

'Has almost charmed me from my profession by persuading me to it' (IV. iii. 448-9).
Justin  K. Rivers
The Bard has some excellent, pointed speaches in here, but the play as a whole is rough and light on drama.

Timon's demise is a tragic fall, but it feels like more of a fall from a stepstool than a fall from a cliff. There just isn't enough change to fill out Timon's arc. He loses his wealth and his friends, to be sure. But he never really had those friends to begin with.

His true journey is from gleeful ignorance of his own affairs to bitter hatred, and from there, to nowhere.

It is, however, a...more
Jay Eckard
This is one of Shakespeare's least-known works, and it's an odd duck; it's full of inconsistencies that nobody can properly explain or resolve (George Orwell made one of the most famous references to a particular crux after the Second World War). Some of it may be to do with its proposed dual-authorship -- Middleton, first suggested in 1920 is the chief contender -- or with errors in transition from the playhouse to the printhouse.

I think (and I have no real authority, obv.) it connects both in...more
Matt
From one extreme to the other, Timon goes from beloved and gratuitous gift-giver to famed misanthrope. The connection between these two extremes is the selfishness of his friends. Those willing to take from him express no genuine willingness to give back.

I didn’t walk away with much from this play. The only real interesting characters are Alciabiades and Flavius. Alciabiades only because his role in the play seems unnecessary yet Shakespeare spends a good amount of time on his part. Flavius stan...more
rr
I can't say this is my favorite Shakespeare, but it was the next play in the line-up for my on-again/off-again read-all-of-Shakespeare project. I had read it some years ago, sometime in the 1980s, and I didn't have great memories of it, so I have been delaying re-reading it--which has in turn delayed my progress in my Shakespeare project. Last night I decided to power through it so I could move on to other plays. I think what I found most interesting was Shakespeare's presentation of Alcibiades:...more
Victoria
Heh: write a review Shakespeare? No!

A group I'm in is reading through the so-called problem plays and it's very surprising and very fun. The Arden 3rd edition posits the author, Shakespeare or Middleton, act & scene by act & scene, which adds another level of interest. One would do well to ignore most of the notes, at least until after reading the text, but of course it's nice to have them all, along with quantities of other information. A sort of hero of mine, James Shapiro favors thes...more
Momina Masood
Personally, I try to be like Timon before his fall and yet I fail, being Apemantus at heart. These words –

'The middle of humanity thou never
knewest, but the extremity of both ends:'

describe Timon perfectly. There is such beauty in Shakespeare’s language that never fails to awe –

'As the moon does, by wanting light to give:
But then renew I could not, like the moon;
There were no suns to borrow of.'

but it is sparse. Liked this one, all the more for personal reasons. The world really could be a ball...more
Jaime
I cheated. I ran out of time, my class is about to end and I have two Shakespeare plays left to read, so I am watching BBC productions instead. I'll read them one day.

Anyway, I was totally digging this until Timon moved to the "forest," which BBC interpreted as a rocky beach. That scene lasted what felt like hours. And it was always night. And dark. I just wanted to go to sleep. The guy playing Timon had horrible peeling skin makeup that was grossing me out. I mostly watched the hole in his shou...more
Julie
You know you are reading Shakespeare in full bloom when you don't know what is going on much of the time. Once figured out, though, this late tragedy can be found to examine a really interesting issue. One of the few works that doesn't even have a hint of romance, this comment on the transience of friendships based on advantage strikes a real chord of plausibility - no switcheroos, no disguises, no evil plots.

Timon on top and Timon at rock bottom are equal exaggerations, and although this play h...more
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr...more
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“The moon's an arrant thief, And her pale fire she snatches from the sun.” 15 likes
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