William Shakespeare: Timon of Athens

(2681 words)
  • Hugh Grady (Arcadia University, (formerly Beaver College) )

Timon of Athens was a proverbial figure for Renaissance humanist writers, an example of an idealist who through bitter experience with his fellow humans becomes a misanthrope, a hater of mankind. William Shakespeare and his collaborator Thomas Middleton dramatized this legend in a play which has challenged generations of readers and play-goers, probing philosophical, economic, and moral issues, trying to take the measure of an extremist position which the play presents as at least in part justified. “Is life worth living?”, Timon and the play named after him ask us; and it is a measure of this play’s deep encounter with nihilism that the answer is not wholly affirmative. The play has repulsed many readers and critics and f…

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Grady, Hugh. "Timon of Athens". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 June 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8362, accessed 27 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Jacobean