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.
mine, my lord. BOTH VARRO’S SERVANTS And ours, my lord FHILOTUS All our bills. TIMON Knock me down with ’em; cleave me to the girdle.  LUCIUS’ SERVANT Alas, my lord — TIMON Cut my heart in sums. TITUS Mine, fifty talents. TIMON Tell out my blood. LUCIUS’ SERVANT Five thousand crowns, my lord. TIMON Five thousand drops pays that.  What yours? and yours? 1 VARROS SERVANT My lord — 2 VARRO’S SERVANT My lord — TIMON Tear me, take me, and the gods fall upon you! [Exit.
and cannot cover The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude With any size of words.  TIMON Let it go naked: men may see’t the better. You that are honest, by being what you are, Make them best seen and known. PAINTER He and myself Have travail’d in the great show’r of your gifts, And sweetly felt it. TIMON Ay, you are honest men. PAINTER We are hither come to offer you our service. TIMON Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you? Can you eat roots, and drink cold water — No?
BOTH What we can do, we’ll do, to do you service. TIMON Vare honest men. Y’have heard that I have gold;  I am sure you have. Speak truth; y’are honest men. PAINTER So it is said, my noble lord; but therefore Came not my friend nor 1. TIMON Good honest men! Thou draw’st a counterfeit Best in all Athens. Th’art indeed the best; Thou counterfeit’st most lively.  PAINTER So, so, my lord. TIMON E’en so, sir, as I say. [To the Poet] And for thy fiction, Why, thy verse swells with
those our droplets which From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead Is noble Timon, of whose memory Hereafter more. Bring me into your city, And I will use the olive, with my sword; Make war breed peace, make peace stint war, make each Prescribe to other, as each other’s leech. Let our drums strike. [Exeunt. About the Author Arguably the greatest English-language playwright, William Shakespeare was
a seventeenth-century writer and dramatist, and is known as the “Bard of Avon.” Under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I, he penned more than 30 plays, 154 sonnets, and numerous narrative poems and short verses. Equally accomplished in histories, tragedies, comedy, and romance, Shakespeare’s most famous works include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, and As You Like It. Like many of his contemporaries, including Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare began his