BB: Timon of Athens, the Speeches

Artwork - Leigh MacRae
Artwork – Leigh MacRae

(Podcast recorded and produced by Daniel J. Rowe, blog written and edited byEric Jean)

Welcome back Brawlers to Timon of AthensStephanie E.M. Coleman‘s favourite Shakespeare play.

What better way to wrap up the year than with a Timon of Athens speeches podcast? Just in time for your New Year’s Eve party. (You know, the one where you are serving rocks and warm water to your ungrateful entourage)

Listen to or download the podcast.


“Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus!” Act I, Scene 1
Speakers: Timon, Apemantus, Painter
Why is Apemantus even at Timon’s house if he’s just going to talk smack at him the entire time? And why does Timon put up with it? Our best guess is that Timon’s house is like the king’s court – anybody and everybody in society is invited and not showing up is like relegating yourself to civic obscurity. Here he is, calling our Timon’s guests for their brown-nosing… and calling out Timon for lapping it up.

“You make me marvel: wherefore ere this time” Act II, Scene 2
Speakers: Flavius, Timon
Timon’s creditors are at his door and he’s just learned the bad news: as a result of his lavish and generous lifestyle, he’s completely broke and can’t afford to pay his debts. He tries to blame his servant/bookkeeper Flavius for not telling him about this sooner but Flavius makes it clear that this is not the first time he’s tried to discuss finances with Timon. Even if Timon sold all of his lands, he would not have enough to pay back his creditors.

“Each man to his stool, with that spur as he would to” Act III, Scene 6
Speakers: Timon, various lords
The lords of Athens believe that Timon has miraculously managed to pay his debts. While they all refused to help him when he asked them for help, they’re all right back at his place for this special feast in their honour. Wouldn’t you be a little suspicious? Even after he’s spelled out why he did this, the lords still don’t quite get it and just think he’s gone crazy.

“How came the noble Timon to this change?” Act IV, Scene 3
Speakers: Alcibiades, Timon, Timandra
Alcibiades and Timon should technically be on the same side; they were both taken advantage of or treated poorly by Athens and are now living in the wilderness. Big difference between the two? Alcibiades is travelling with two prostitutes and it seems to have worked wonders on his mood. In this scene, Alcibiades is trying to understand what drove Timon nuts; Timon is trying to convince Alcibiades to kill everybody.

“By all description this should be the place.” and “‘Here lies a
wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft”
Act V, Scene 3 and Act V, Scene 4
Speakers: Solider, Alcibiades
We’ve actually spliced together two scenes. Act V, scene 3 is just a short scene of an illiterate soldier coming across Timon’s grave. As he can’t read the whole inscription on the gravestone, so he makes a copy of it and brings it to his general, Alcibiades. (My best guess as to how the gravestone gets set up? Flavius must have done it. Unless Timon buried alive by summoning the animals of the forest to do his bidding. Whichever one seems more plausible to you, I guess.) The rest of the ‘speech’ picks up at the end of the play where Alcibiades reads the rest of the inscription and decides that he won’t kill everybody – just the people who the senators of Athens will have decided are guilty of his exile.

That’s it for the Bard Brawl’s eighth play!

We want to thank everybody who helped spread the word and who donated to ‘Zounds!, our upcoming Bard brawl journal! Our campaign raised a total of $1020 thanks to your efforts!

Stay tuned for updates about ‘Zounds! in the coming days and weeks!

And Happy New Year Brawlers!

Artwork - Stephanie E.M. Coleman
Artwork – Stephanie E.M. Coleman

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