Timon of Athens

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The Life of Timon of Athens is a play by William Shakespeare about the legendary Athenian misanthrope Timon (and probably influenced by the eponymous philosopher as well). It is generally regarded as one of his most obscure and difficult works. Originally grouped with the tragedies, it is generally considered such, but some scholars group it with the problem comedies.

Act I

  • No levelled malice
    Infects one comma in the course I hold;
    But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
    Leaving no track behind.
    • Poet, scene i

  • Here’s that, which is too weak to be a sinner, —
    Honest water, which ne’er left man i’ the mire.
    • Apemantus, scene ii

  • Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
    I pray for no man but myself:
    Grant I may never prove so fond,
    To trust man on his oath or bond.
    • Apemantus, scene ii

  • Men shut their doors against a setting sun.
    • Apemantus, scene ii

Act II

  • Every room
    Hath blaz'd with lights, and bray’d with minstrelsy.
    • Flavius, scene ii

  • ’T is lack of kindly warmth they are not kind.
    • Timon, scene ii


  • Every man has his fault, and honesty is his.
    • Lucullus, scene i

  • Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.
    • 1 Senator, scene v

Act IV

  • We have seen better days.
    • Flavius, scene ii

  • Not within the leaf of pity writ.
    • Timon, scene iii

  • I’ll example you with thievery:
    The sun’s a thief, and with his great attraction
    Robs the vast sea; the moon’s an arrant thief,
    And her pale fire she snatches from the sun;
    The sea’s a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
    The moon into salt tears; the earth’s a thief,
    That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
    From general excrement: each thing’s a thief.
    • Timon, scene iii

Act V

  • Other incident throes
    That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain
    In life’s uncertain voyage.
    • Timon, scene i

External links

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