Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Timon of Athens” as Want to Read:
Timon of Athens
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Timon of Athens

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  2,864 Ratings  ·  205 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
ebook, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (first published 1607)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Timon of Athens, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Timon of Athens

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Bill  Kerwin
This time I liked Timon less than the two other times I have 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, memorable not only for their poetic intensity but also for the savagery of their vitriol, but they are not enough to save this cynical pageant (no, it is nothing close to a
Jun 04, 2016 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
I really read this here:

Allegedly Shakespeare's least popular play, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton who wrote at least the whole of Act 3. Timon is astonishingly one-dimensional both as a play and a character who falling from power through naive and extreme generosity, turns into an extreme exemplar of misanthropy when he finds his friends faithless. It's like Lear raging against his fate but for two acts...the passion and vitriol is magnifi
Apr 29, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Metin Yılmaz
Jul 25, 2016 Metin Yılmaz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatre
İnsanların riyakarlığının doğurduğu sonuçlar güzel güzel işlenmiş üstadın üslübu ile. Sonrası iyi de olsa kötü de olsa bir hayat daha yitip gitmiş yalanları ile insanların.
Apr 30, 2012 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David Sarkies
Jul 23, 2011 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tragedy
The Folly of Buying Popularity
17 February 2010

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
Otra de esas obras shakespearianas llenas de disonancias. Algunos críticos leen Timón como una sátira política. James I había sido coronado solo dos años antes; me parece muy poco tiempo como para haber hecho un juicio de carácter tan fuerte, pero después de pensarlo un poco encontré que esa interpretación tiene varios puntos a favor:

En primer lugar, Timón no tiene dignidad trágica. Su generosidad es agresiva e inmadura. Es inevitable que provoque incomodidad e ingratitud. Mauss mencionaba en s
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
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
Shirin sh
Dec 02, 2015 Shirin sh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
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.—
You great benefactors sprinkle our society
with thankfulness. 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
An interesting play that is relatively rarely performed. TImon's misanthropy is, however, still quite relevant as fair-weather friends abound all cultures. If you're in St. John's NL in July 2017, come see it!
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,
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
Liza Palmer
Okay, so this one is a little rough. Some argue that this play is unfinished or a team-write with Thomas Middleton. Whatever the theory, everyone agrees that this play was probably not performed and is a mish/mash of ideas, unfinished scenes and characters from nowhere.

That aside.

Timon of Athens is a play about what would happen if a man - with no family, no partner, no parents, no kids - sees money as love. So giving gifts and charity and receiving are his reason for living. And it is his frie
Sep 16, 2009 Cody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 02, 2011 Toni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 18, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 18, 2015 Sally rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was an odd play, for sure. Timon starts off happy and generous, but we know trouble is coming when he refuses to listen to his household manager who is trying to warn him about expenditures. Timon is so kind that he gives things away to everyone, but he runs out of money. Then when he tries to borrow some from his so-called friends, they refuse to help him. He ends up out in the wilderness eating roots and cursing mankind. Then he dies. And there's an odd subplot about Alcibiades turning ag ...more
Cindy Rollins
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, 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
Dylan Grant
A very obscure Shakespeare play, one of his strangest, and also without doubt one of his worst. Not everything Shakespeare wrote was pure gold, evidently. That makes sense though, he wrote 30-something plays, so it makes sense that at least one or two of them wouldn't be great. He's still a genius.

The only really interesting scene is towards the very end, wherein the titular character and a cynic named Apemantus (modelled after Diogenes, no doubt) ruminate over the nature of Fortune. But all t
Mar 23, 2013 Eyehavenofilter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: w-shakespeare
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.
Alexander Rolfe
Jan 12, 2013 Alexander Rolfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The kids and I read this aloud, and we liked it mainly for the over-the-top vitriol of the speeches. We expected Apemantus to show up towards the end and tell us what to think about it all, but he didn't come back. We just sat there with Timon's discovery that everyone loved his money more than him, the single counterexample in his servant Flavius, and no resolution.
Mohamed Teka
Oct 15, 2016 Mohamed Teka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
C'est ma première pièce de Shakespeare, l'histoire de Timon est attachante, mais elle est tellement courte qu'il me serait difficile d'en faire un synopsis sans aucun spoilers. Je vous donc invite à tenter cette pièce si comme moi vous n'avez pas lu Shakespeare auparavant, car moi j'ai pu dévorer ce bouquin en très peu temps et ça a m'a poussé à mettre trois autres de ses œuvres sur ma PAL
Muhammad Alrubaian
Aug 16, 2016 Muhammad Alrubaian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare
ينعزل تيمون في غابة لأن أهلَه، أهل اثينا، تخلوا عنه، بعد أن كان يكرمهم ويجزل لهم العطايا. فيموت كاتبا على قبره: "هنا يرقد تيمون الذي كره جميع الأحياء، وأنتم أيها المارّون من هنا إلعنوني كما يحلو لكم، لكن اجتازوا ولا تتوقفوا عند قبري.".
Kenneth Geary
Being Shakespeare is not an automatic 5 star. Timon is a tragedy of the common variety with nothing really surprising about it and being excessively over-worded in many places, however it does have lesson in it and pack a lot into a short tale.
Jun 20, 2015 amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
All of Timon's friends are as fake and superficial as heck's meanest cliques and it embitters him against all humankind. He so begrudges the underbelly of human nature that he dies. Not much poetry here.
Ro Prufrock
I can't say much about the quality of the book since I was 120% tired while reading it, but I'm giving it all the stars because I had SO MUCH FUN!!
Aug 28, 2014 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
This is kind of a third-rate Shakespearean tragedy, but while it lacks the depth and subtlety of a Lear or an Othello, it does serve as an interesting social commentary.
Jan 07, 2016 Christen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, classics
You know that writer friend you have whose stories you labor to read because you love her? That is what it's like to read this play. Shakes, I love you, but I'm glad I never have to read this again.
Jan 22, 2009 Hollis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
There are certainly moments of great poetry in this play, but ultimately it is an imperfect work when compared to his others.
John Pistelli
Apr 23, 2016 John Pistelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, early-modern
[For Shakespeare's birth/death day. Also a good day to revisit my essay on Shakespeare's detractors and what they miss about the meaning and worth of his nihilism.]

When I was reading this—a late quasi-tragedy of about the same period as Coriolanus—I was thinking that it was nobody's favorite Shakespeare play. According to scholars, about a third to a half of it is the work of someone else, probably Thomas Middleton, and the first three acts depart from the relative realism of characterization th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Hero and Leander
  • The White Devil
  • The Changeling
  • Shakespeare After All
  • The Malcontent
  • The Alchemist
  • Iphigénie
  • The Master Builder
  • Women of Trachis
  • Westward Ho! or, the Voyages and Adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight, of Burrough
  • All for Love
  • Alcestis
  • The Mortal Immortal: The Complete Supernatural Short Fiction of Mary Shelley
  • The Rover
  • A Woman Killed with Kindness
  • Caesar and Cleopatra
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
More about William Shakespeare...

Share This Book

“Like madness is the glory of this life.” 193 likes
“The moon's an arrant thief, And her pale fire she snatches from the sun.” 27 likes
More quotes…