Timon of Athens: Third Series (Arden Shakespeare)
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Timon of Athens has struck many readers as rough and unpolished, perhaps even unfinished, though to others it has appeared as Shakespeare's most profound tragic allegory. Described by Coleridge as "the stillborn twin of King Lear," the play has nevertheless proved brilliantly effective in performance over the past thirty or forty years.
This edition accepts and contributes to the growing scholarly consensus that the play is not Shakespeare's solo work, but is the result of his collaboration with Thomas Middleton, who wrote about a third of it. The editors offer an account of the process of collaboration and discuss the different ways that each author contributes to the play's relentless look at the corruption and greed of society. They provide, as well, detailed annotation of the text and explore the wide range of critical and theatrical interpretations that the play has engendered. Tracing both its satirical and tragic strains, their introduction presents a perspective on the play's meanings that combines careful elucidation of historical context with analysis of its relevance to modern-day society. An extensive and well-illustrated account of the play's production history generates a rich sense of how the play can speak to different historical moments in specific and rewarding ways.
The Arden Shakespeare has developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play's foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader.
valiant, That stay at home, if bearing carry it; And the ass more captain than the lion; the fellow  Loaden with irons wiser than the judge, If wisdom be in suffering. O my lords, As you are great, be pitifully good. Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood? To kill, I grant, is sin’s extremest gust;  But, in defence, by mercy, ’tis most just To be in anger is impiety; But who is man that is not angry? Weigh but the crime with this. 2 SENATOR You breathe in vain.
all.  TIMON This gentleman of mine hath serv’d me long; To build his fortune I will strain a little, For ’tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter: What you bestow, in him I’ll counterpoise, And make him weigh with her. OLD ATHENIAN Most noble lord,  Pawn me to this your honour, she is his. TIMON My hand to thee; mine honour on my promise. LUCILIUS Humbly I thank your lordship. Never may That state or fortune fall into my keeping Which is not owed to you! [Exeunt Lucitius
woods. Timon’s cave, and a rude tomb seen. Enter a Soldier in the woods, seeking Timon. SOLDIER By all description this should be the place. Who’s here? Speak, ho! No answer? What is this? Timon is dead, who hath outstretch’d his span. Some beast rear’d this; here does not live a man.  Dead, sure; and this his grave. What’s on this tomb I cannot read; the character I’ll take with wax. Our captain hath in every figure skill, An ag’d interpreter, though young in days; Before proud
They’re welcome all; let ’em have kind admittance. Music, make their welcome. [Exit Cupid.  1 LORD You see, my lord, how ample y’are belov’d. Music. Re-enter CUPID, with a Masque of Ladies as Amazons, with lutes in their hands, dancing and playing. APEMANTUS Hoy-day, what a sweep of vanity comes this way! They dance? They are mad women. Like madness is the glory of this life, As this pomp shows to a little oil and root.  We make ourselves fools to disport ourselves, And spend
APEMANTUS That answer might have become Apemantus. VARRO’S SERVANT Aside, aside; here comes Lord  Timon. Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS. APEMANTUS Come with me, fool, come. FOOL I do not always follow lover, elder brother, and woman; sometime the philosopher. [Exeunt Apemantus and Fool. FLAVIUS Pray you walk near; I’ll speak with you anon. [Exeunt Servants.  TIMON You make me marvel wherefore ere this time Had you not fully laid my state before me, That I might so have rated my