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Timon of Athens Summary
William Shakespeare

Everything you need to understand or teach Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare.

  • Timon of Athens Summary & Study Guide
  • 1 Student Essay
  • 56 Literature Criticism
  • ...and more

Timon of Athens Summary

Introduction

The historical characters in Timon of Athens lived nearly 2,500 years ago. Almost four hundred years have passed since the play was written. Yet the issues it raises are timeless—applicable to every period in history when materialism and corruption overwhelm humane social values. In 1973, at a small theater in Paris, a production of Timon crossed cultural, historical, and racial boundaries. Timon was played as a golden-haired, northern European youth; at the first banquet, entertainers performed a Middle Eastern-inspired dance to Arabian music; Apemantus was played by a black actor, costumed in a way to suggest that he was a native of northern Africa. This production, directed by Peter Brook, underscored the universality of the play.

Timon of Athens depicts a society corrupted by greed. Many of its citizens are in debt to moneylenders. Conspicuous consumption—to use a twentieth- century term—leads Timon to bankruptcy. His natural inclination to...

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Study Pack

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Timon of Athens Study Guide

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