Hello I am a new member, and would like to post a small piece on the Shakespeare Play: Timon of Athens.
I question whether the play is a tragedy, as it is often classified. Timon says that his miseries were "when he had prosperity". What could the play be about? A man brought down by false friends and naievete? It could be, however there are a lot of unanswered questions with this point of view. Why did Timon not return to his former life when it was offered to him twice?
When he went to his reclusive cave, he found gold, a lot if it, enough to "make black white" ; and again near the end of the play he is offered high position and wealth by the senators to return to Athens. Timon lived in illusions and expectations about the world and other people, the illusion that he could give forever with no reckoning for example: and the expectation that others would give back to him. When he saw the truth of the situation he left the society of men altogether. Much like a Monk or Hermit on a religous way. Now from the point of view of the world this makes no sense, seek something higher in extreme poverty, and basic living. But this has been a theme in human history, so it is not so easy to pass it over. When Timon finds gold, he says " I am no idle votarist " , votarist in the Oxford dictionary is "one bound by a vow: A devotee" Timon is serious. It seems the opinion is that Timon is speaking madness, But Shakespeare warns about opinion in Pericles Prince of Tyre: "opinion is a fool that scans the outer looking for the inner." When the thieves who come to Timon's cave for gold leave, they are determined to live a better life. Could a madman do this? Once Timon realizes that his stewart Flaminius is honest, he softens to him and expresses real love. He returns to each their own. Does this sound like a madman? Some of Timons teachings are " Theres never a one of you but trusts a knave" There could be some deep meaning in what Timon is saying.
Anyway there a few thoughts on the play. If anyone has any response, I would love to hear it.