Standard Ebooks

Timon of Athens

William Shakespeare


Lord Timon is known by the whole city of Athens as a very generous man. He offers to bail his friend Ventidius out of jail, hires local artists for their talents, and invites his admirers to a feast and offers them gifts. Timon’s closest friend Apemantus tries to warn him that these people are parasites, taking advantage of him. Flavius, Timon’s servant, also tries to warn his master that his finances are in dire straits due to the lavish spending, and that he owes a lot of money. Both worries are dismissed—until creditors that were once considered Timon’s “friends” demand his debts be paid.

Many scholars consider Timon of Athens an unfinished work: plot developments that go nowhere, random character appearances, and other inconsistencies make it feel incomplete, and it was never performed in Shakespeare’s lifetime. If it had been, the production might have been considered too controversial because of its allusion to King James I and his lavish spending and debts.

This Standard Ebooks edition is based on William George Clark and William Aldis Wright’s 1887 Victoria edition, which is taken from the Globe edition.

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