Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens (1605–1606)

First official record: entered into the Stationers' Register on 8 May 1623
First publishedFirst Folio (1623) as The Life of Timon of Athens
First recorded performance: in 1674, Thomas Shadwell wrote an adaptation of the play under the title Timon of Athens: Or, The Man-hater
Evidence: This play is another which is extremely difficult to date precisely, not the least cause of which is the claim that Shakespeare may only have written part of it, with the play being subsequently revised by Thomas Middleton. There is no reference to the play whatsoever prior to 1623, and as such, evidence for its date of composition must come from within the play itself. Taylor concludes that Middleton and Shakespeare were jointly responsible for the play and assigns the composition date to 1605 on the basis of previous analyses of colloquialism-in-verse and rare vocabulary.

ACT I

SCENE I. Athens. A hall in Timon's house.

 

Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others, at several doors
Poet
Good day, sir.
Painter
I am glad you're well.
Poet
I have not seen you long: how goes the world?
Painter
It wears, sir, as it grows.
Poet
Ay, that's well known:
But what particular rarity? what strange,
Which manifold record not matches? See,
Magic of bounty! all these spirits thy power
Hath conjured to attend. I know the merchant.
Full text of play

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