Timon of Athens

Timon, a kindly, friendly and generous Athenian nobleman, has many friends because of his generosity. He loves to spend money and holds frequent parties. A day comes, however, when he falls into debt and his many creditors put pressure on him to pay them what he owes. His steward, Flavius, tells him that he’s completely out of money. Timon sends servants to his friends to ask whether they can lend him the money he needs but they are met with excuses. Timon is disappointed and angered. He invites all his friends to a final feast, where he presents them with only warm water. He makes a speech denouncing them, and also harangues them with a bitter tirade against mankind generally.

Elsewhere, an Athenian army general, Alcibiades, is trying to get the senators to change their minds about the death sentence they have imposed on one of his men. They don’t like his persistence and he is banished. He decides to turn against the them and to influence the army to join him. He hears about Timon, who has gone to live in isolation in a cave away from Athens.

Timon has, in the meantime, found a stash of gold as he was digging for roots to eat. When Alcibiades arrives Timon offers him gold if he will march on Athens. Alcibiades agrees and uses some of the gold to bribe the army. He then marches on Athens. A band of pirates visit Timon and he offers them gold to put pressure on Athens with pirate attacks. Timon sends his faithful steward away and is left completely on his own.

Alcibiades enters Athens and meets with little resistance. The Senate sends to Timon to intervene of their behalf but he refuses. He offers them the tree at the mouth of his cave, on which he tells them they can all hang themselves.

The senators then hand Alcibiades’ enemies over to him, as well as Timon’s former companions. Alcibiades then agrees to withdraw and promises peace in Athens. This is a victory for Timon but just at that point a soldier enters and informs them that Timon has died, all alone, in his cave.


Timon, of Athens_
Sempronius, flattering lords
Ventidius, one of Timon’s false friends
Alcibiades, an Athenian captain
Apemantus, a churlish philosopher
Flavius, steward to Timon
Jeweller, and

An old Athenian
Servilius, servants to Timon
Hortensius, servants to Timon’s creditors
And others
A page
A fool
Three strangers
Timandra, mistresses to Alcibiades
Cupid and
Amazons in the mask

Other Lords, senators, officers, soldiers, banditti, and attendants.