Timon of Athens
A Word from the Director:
Timon is one of Shakepeare’s neglected classics. It is in many ways a warm-up to King Lear and Coriolanus. And while it is admittedly not Shakespeare’s best play, Timon of Athens features some of Shakespeare’s best poetry and it has inspired writers who enjoy Shakespeare’s later more experimental verse. Nabokov gets his title for Pale Fire from this play and references it throughout the novel.
The play tracks two parallel lives: Timon and Alcibiadies. Timon is a rich philanthropist and Alcibiadies is a military commander. Both men are betrayed by the people of Athens and both have opposing responses to this betrayal. Timon falls on hard times and asks his friends for help. When no one helps him, he retreats the wilderness to live the life of a hermit. Alcibidies is banished by the Senate of Athens for defying their orders. He mounts a military campaign outside of Athens to bring his former homeland to its knees.
It is a beautifully, bitter, funny, and satirical play that anticipates the blighted worlds and sarcastic characters that Samuel Beckett would create almost three and a half centuries later.
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María Ascensión Leigh