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Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare
By: (1564-1616)

The Life of Timon of Athens is a play by William Shakespeare about the fortunes of an Athenian named Timon (and probably influenced by the philosopher of the same name, as well), generally regarded as one of his most obscure and difficult works. Originally grouped with the tragedies, it is generally considered such, but some scholars group it with the problem plays. The play has caused considerable debate among scholars. It is oddly constructed, with several lacunae (gaps) and for this reason is often described as unfinished, multi-authored, and/or experimental. No precise date of composition can be given and, while most place it as close but prior to the late romances, theories posited have ranged broadly from Shakespeare's first work to his last. It is usually grouped with the tragedies (as in the First Folio), though some scholars have placed it with the problem comedies despite the death of its title character. Source material includes Plutarch's "Life of Alcibiades" and Lucian's dialogue, Timon the Misanthrope. The play had not been published prior to its inclusion in the First Folio (1623).

First Page:

The Life of Timon of Athens

Enter Poet, Painter, Ieweller, Merchant, and Mercer, at seuerall doores.

Poet. Good day Sir

Pain. I am glad y'are well

Poet. I haue not seene you long, how goes the World? Pain. It weares sir, as it growes

Poet. I that's well knowne: But what particular Rarity? What strange, Which manifold record not matches: see Magicke of Bounty, all these spirits thy power Hath coniur'd to attend. I know the Merchant

Pain. I know them both: th' others a Ieweller

Mer. O 'tis a worthy Lord

Iew. Nay that's most fixt

Mer. A most incomparable man, breath'd as it were, To an vntyreable and continuate goodnesse: He passes

Iew. I haue a Iewell heere

Mer. O pray let's see't. For the Lord Timon, sir? Iewel. If he will touch the estimate. But for that Poet. When we for recompence haue prais'd the vild, It staines the glory in that happy Verse, Which aptly sings the good

Mer. 'Tis a good forme

Iewel. And rich: heere is a Water looke ye

Pain. You are rapt sir, in some worke, some Dedication to the great Lord

Poet... Continue reading book >>

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