I lied. I read Timon of Athens over the weekend. It didn’t take that long. This shocked me, because this was a Shakespearean page turner. That’s unusual. I can only think of one other of the Bard’s plays that kept me going like this one. Timon of Athens is considered to be a tragedy, but many scholar’s call it a problem play. They say this because it doesn’t end like so many of the other tragedies. There isn’t a mass kill off in the last act. Only Timon dies, and it seems to be more due to heartbreak than anything else.
The general plot of the play has a humorous feel. This is why some scholars considered it a problem play. It is both comedy and tragedy at the same time. It is even a fable in some ways. The plot can be summarized as such, “a fool and his money will soon be parted.” That’s it. Timon gives away his wealth to so-called friends until he is so indebt his life in danger.
All in all, I liked this play. I wouldn’t have finished it so quickly had I not. It was a nice relief to find something enjoyable. I have found many of the plays I’ve slogged through so far to be a bit tiring. I was even thinking of giving up this goal, but Timon has made me push on.
Read Timon of Athens