Tag Archives: Timon of Athens

Bard Brawl on iTunes

9 Mar

Hey Brawlers!

Just a quick announcement today. Looks like the issue we were having with itunes (namely, that people were not able to download any Bard Brawl episodes after Pericles) seems to have been resolved!

This means you can (finally!) download our recordings of Timon of Athens and the first two acts of Romeo and Juliet!

Stay tuned for act III of Romeo and Juliet which should be up tomorrow afternoon.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of ‘Zounds! yet… what are you waiting for?

Thanks again, Brawlers!

Stay in Touch Brawlers!

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Exit James Avery

2 Jan
Actor James Avery as Uncle Phil in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Actor James Avery as Uncle Phil in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

In honour of the late James Avery, who passed away this past Tuesday, we’re re-posting this episode of the Bard Brawl in which Mr. Nicholas MacMahon gives us his insight into The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Rest in peace, Uncle Phil!

_________

Welcome back to the Bard Brawl and act II of Timon of Athens.

Listen to or download the podcast.

What did you think of act I? Kind of makes you want to have a good look at your own friends, doesn’t it?

Nonsense! You are rich in your friends, aren’t you? ūüėČ

While the party’s in full swing within, a Senator arrives at Timon’s gate at the start of act II, scene 1. He’s disgusted that Timon should spend so much money on parties with his friends while he has outstanding debts to this senator. The Senator commands his servant Caphis to take debt bonds to Timon and not return until Timon pays up. The senator suspects that, when the money runs out, so will Timon’s friendships.

Flavius is just complaining about Timon’s careless spending when Caphis walking in to scene 2, speaking with Varro and Isidore’s servants. These men are also looking to collect on some outstanding debts. They intercept Timon as he returns from hunting. Timon tried to talk his way out of it but Caphis reminds him that his money was due six weeks ago and won’t take no for an answer. Flavius promises to deal with it for them right after supper and ushers Timon away.

The servants hang back to be made fun of by the Fool and Apemantus who, as Daniel points out, seem to be competing for the job of “guy who gets to say whatever he wants to Timon’s ‘friends’.”

After hearing about the current state of his finances, Timon tries to blame Favius for not mentioning any of this sooner. Flavius of course tell him that he tried to but that Timon wouldn’t hear it before. And now, even if Timon were to sell everything he has, that would only be enough to pay back about half the debt. While Falvius freaks out Timon calms him down and reminds him that as he has so many friends in good financial situations surely a few of them will be willing to help bail him out of this. But, turns out that Flavius has already approached some of these friends who gave him a bunch of excuses as to why they couldn’t help Timon. No big deal though: Timon’s buddy Ventidius – who he bailed out of jail in act 1 – just struck a rich inheritance so he’s sure that he’ll be more than happy to help out Timon.

Here are some of the characters introduced in this act:

  • Senator: This senator has lent money to Timon who does not appear to be in any hurry to pay him back. He comes armed with his legal documents to collect his debt.
  • Caphis: A servant to the Senator who comes knocking at Timon’s door to get the money he is owned.
  • TBD: _description_

Excited for act III?

A special shout out to Emily Murphy who wrote this article for CBC’s Canada Writes site.

Different Timon.

Different Timon.

Join us by contributing to the Bard Brawl journal volume I at our Indiegogo page.

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BB: Timon of Athens, the Speeches

30 Dec
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‚Äės 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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BB: Timon of Athens, Act V

17 Dec
Artwork - Leigh MacRae

Artwork – Leigh MacRae

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

Welcome back Brawlers to Timon of Athens, act V, Stephanie E.M. Coleman‘s favourite Shakespeare play.

Listen to or download the podcast.

The rumours of Timon’s gold have reached the ears of our Painter and our Poet who, at the start of act V, are camped outside Timon’s cave discussing how they plan on separating Timon from more of his money. Having nothing to actually offer him, they instead decide that they will ask for money in exchange for a promise to deliver on a project in the future. How nice.

They are unaware that Timon has over heard their whole conversation. After letting them squirm and grovel a bit, Timon asks them if they have come to get gold, like the others. They admit that they heard he had money again but that this had nothing to do with why they are at his doorstep. He plays long for a little bit and messes with them before finally chasing them off.

Moments later, Flavius arrives, leading two Athenian senators. It would seem now that they are willing to welcome Timon home. And coincidentally, they need his help to try to talk Alcibiades out of razing the city to the ground. Once again Timon pretends to play along only to flip everything around into some variation of “&@!# off and die!” (Look for some of the choice insults and curses in the upcoming speeches podcast!)

The senators eventually get the message but as they go to leave Timon in peace, he tells them not to return and that this sea-shore shall be his eternal resting place.

The news of Timon’s refusal is relayed to the city of Athens in scene 2 before turning to a lone soldier by Timon’s cave in scene 3. He expected to find Timon but instead he sees only a tomb. The illiterate soldier cannot reads the inscription so he uses some wax to make of copy of the writing and heads back to his captain, Alcibiades.

The final scene takes place just outside Athens, with Alcibiades’ army ready to besiege and conquer the city. The senators begin to plead with the general. They make the case that while he has just cause to seek retribution against some people in the city, that not everybody is equally guilty of his exile, that they just wanted to give him some time to cool his temper. In fact, it would seem that those people who did him wrong have died of an excess of cunning.

They invite him not to kill everyone but, if he really wants vengeance, to decimate the town instead, as in to kill one in every 10 people. They will not even oppose him. Timon relents and accepts instead to put to the sword whoever the senators will identify as the guilty parties and spare every one else.

At the very end, Alcibiades reads Timon’s epitaph and then enters the city, promising to help sets things right in Athens.

Is there a moral to this story? Was anything accomplished by Timon’s death? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Legendary sonneteer Maya Pankalla returns for sonnet 53.

This wraps up our eighth play and our final play of 2013!

Stay tuned for the upcoming speeches podcast. And send us your suggestions for which play you would like us to tackle next!

 

Join us by contributing to the Bard Brawl journal volume I at our Indiegogo page.

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BB: Timon of Athens, Act IV

8 Dec

T-carrick-stamp

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

The table is set, the guests drenched in lukewarm water and the flatterers pelted with rocks. It time for act IV of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Timon of Athens!

Listen to or download the podcast.

Welcome back Brawlers. Last show Timon’s ‘friends’ were “touched and found base metal” by his servants so that Timon finally figured out that he was penniless and friendless and that pretty much no one but his servants cared that he was totally bankrupt.

With nothing left for him in Athens by the start of act IV, he decides that all human beings are disgusting, two-faced scumbags and so he does the only sensible thing and runs off to live in the wilderness by himself. Insert litany of curses and well-wishes: may your prostitutes be considered virgins, may the young steal from and beat up the old, may your state be a lawless cesspool fueled by avarice and lust.

So, it turns out that the only friends Timon has are his servants, with Flavius being particularly vocal about how it falls to the servants to try to help Timon out however they can. “Flavour’ Flavious runs off to find and continue to serve Timon at the end of scene 2.

Remind you of a certain Kent from act I of King Lear?

Seems that by scene 3, Timon has moved into a cave with a view, at the edge of some woods, right by the seashore. Seems like things might be looking up for this foraging caveman misanthrope.

As he’s digging for some roots to eat, Timon finds some gold. Timon’s about to bury all of it again when he hears some marching music in the distance. He buries most of the gold but keeps some of it, so he can torment the other humans with it, very likely. Alcibiades, who has been banished from Athens and now gathers up an army to assault the city, wanders by Timon and his cave.

Alcibiades figures out who this is but has no idea what happened back in Athens and why Timon is out here in the woods. Just like we have no idea why Alcibiades is leading an army flanked by two prostitutes. But, seeing as they are there, Timon sees an opportunity to use them in the war effort: he gives them gold and asks them to infect every in Athens with the STDs they are undoubtedly carrying. Timon also gives Alcibiades gold to make sure that he slaughters everyone in Athens. Lovely.

As soon a Alcibiades leaves, Apemantus shows up. They swap insult and wish one another a long and painful life, full of suffering, before they quickly part ways.

When Apemantus exits, some bandits, having heard that Timon found gold, show up to steal it. Timon gives them the gold and sends them off to Athens to rob all of the lying thieves in Athens blind. And maybe slit a few throats while they’re at it.

Finally, Flavius shows up and offers his continued service to Timon. His former master is about to turn him away but Flavius manages to convince him that maybe not every human being is a totally reprehensible entity entirely bereft of honestly and worth. So, Timon amends his position: all of humanity needs to die, except for Flavius.So Timon gives him some money and chases him off.

What’s left now that Timon’s given all of his money away. Again?

Tune in to the next episode to find out.

Sonnet 33 read by first-time sonneteer David Kandestin.

 

Join us by contributing to the Bard Brawl journal volume I at our Indiegogo page.

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BB: Timon of Athens, Act III

1 Dec

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

Welcome back to the Bard Brawl! This week, Daniel J Rowe, ‘Mister’ Nicholas MacMahon and myself are back for act III of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Timon of Athens.

Listen to or download the podcast.

With creditors knocking at his door, Timon turns to his friends to lend him a little money so he can avoid bankruptcy. He sends his servants out to see the three lords who he feels pretty confident will be able to bail him out.

Flaminius arrives at lord Lucullus’ house in act III, scene 1. Lucullus greets Timon’s servant warmly as he expects that he is here to deliver some sort of gift. When he discovers that Flaminius is there to ask for money, Lucullus puts on his best ‘I told him not to be so generous’ act and then tries to bribe Flaminius so he’ll pretend he wasn’t able to find Lucullus. Flaminius tosses the cash back at Lucullus then curses him (and all other selfish jerks like him) to be boiled in a vat of molten coins.

The next lord to be visited is Lucilius. By the start of this scene, he has apparently heard that Lucullus refused to bail Timon out. He finds it deplorable and says that of Timon had turned to him instead, he would have been happy to help him. And on that cue, Servilius enters. Lucilius also seems to think that Timon’s servant is here offering gifts at first. When he finds out that Servilius is here to beg some cash for Timon, Lucilius replies that he would love to be able to help Timon out but – wouldn’t you know? – he just spent the last of his available funds this very morning, just before Servilius arrived. What an unfortunate coincidence.

Are all of Timon’s friends flattering jerks? Surely Sempronius isn’t like Lucius, Ventidius, or Lucullus? At the start of scene 3, Sempronius seems disgusted by the fact that the others lords have refused to help Timon. Even worse, Sempronius is disgusted that he wasn’t asked first, as this might suggest that maybe Timon doesn’t like him as well as the other lords. So, if Timon doesn’t care for him as much and his close friends refused to bail him out, why should Sempronius have to help him out? He proclaims to Timon’s servant that any man who would dishonour him in this way won’t get any help from him.

With no one left to ask for money, Timon has locked himself up in his house in scene 4. In a hall in his house, his creditor’s servants want to be paid. Seems that the servants aren’t too keen to be collecting from Timon when they know full well that their masters walk around with the jewellery that Timon once gave them. As they wait, Timon’s messengers return to announce that they have failed to get any money for Timon’s debts.

Timon eventually enters the hall in a rage and is greeted by the collectors’ bills. He offers to pay with his blood and flesh and chases the servants out of his house. Once they are gone, he asks his servants to invite all of his former friends back to his estate for one final banquet.

We leave Timon behind for a moment as scene 5 takes place in the Athenian senate-house and features the general Alcibiades. It appears that one of Alcibiades’ soldiers was involved in the violent crime in Athens. The law calls from his execution but Alcibiades, as his commanding officer, is here to beg the senate for leniency. The senate refuses. When Alcibiades is a little too insistent in his critique of the thanklessness of the Athenian senate, they banish him from the city despite all of the wars he fought for them. This should remind you of another general who was forced to turn his back on his city.

The last scene of the act takes place in Timon’s house. The lords have all arrived for the feats and are commenting that clearly Timon’s need for money must not have been so great as they have heard. Timon greet them all and escorts them into the dining room where for each guest is layed out a covered dish. The lords sit down, Timon curses all of Athens’ flattering lords, and once the covers are removed, each guest sees that their meal is warm water and rocks. Timon slashes the water in their ungrateful faces and then drives them out in a hail of stones.

The craziest part of the whole thing is that none of the lords seems to have a clue as to why Timon would be pissed at them…

Penniless and friendless, What’s next for Timon? Find out next week!

Sonnet 56 read from afar by Zoey Baldwin.

Shout out to the Segal Centre’s production of Othello in its last weekend and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s upcoming Pericles from Dec. 4 – 29.

 

Join us by contributing to the Bard Brawl journal volume I at our Indiegogo page.

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BB: Timon of Athens, Act 2

18 Nov
Act II, ii; Flavius

Act II, ii; Flavius

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

Welcome back to the Bard Brawl and act II of Timon of Athens.

Listen to or download the podcast.

What did you think of act I? Kind of makes you want to have a good look at your own friends, doesn’t it?

Nonsense! You are rich in your friends, aren’t you? ūüėČ

While the party’s in full swing within, a Senator arrives at Timon’s gate at the start of act II, scene 1. He’s disgusted that Timon should spend so much money on parties with his friends while he has outstanding debts to this senator. The Senator commands his servant Caphis to take debt bonds to Timon and not return until Timon pays up. The senator suspects that, when the money runs out, so will Timon’s friendships.

Flavius is just complaining about Timon’s careless spending when Caphis walking in to scene 2, speaking with Varro and Isidore’s servants. These men are also looking to collect on some outstanding debts. They intercept Timon as he returns from hunting. Timon tried to talk his way out of it but Caphis reminds him that his money was due six weeks ago and won’t take no for an answer. Flavius promises to deal with it for them right after supper and ushers Timon away.

The servants hang back to be made fun of by the Fool and Apemantus who, as Daniel points out, seem to be competing for the job of “guy who gets to say whatever he wants to Timon’s ‘friends’.”

After hearing about the current state of his finances, Timon tries to blame Favius for not mentioning any of this sooner. Flavius of course tell him that he tried to but that Timon wouldn’t hear it before. And now, even if Timon were to sell everything he has, that would only be enough to pay back about half the debt. While Falvius freaks out Timon calms him down and reminds him that as he has so many friends in good financial situations surely a few of them will be willing to help bail him out of this. But, turns out that Flavius has already approached some of these friends who gave him a bunch of excuses as to why they couldn’t help Timon. No big deal though: Timon’s buddy Ventidius – who he bailed out of jail in act 1 – just struck a rich inheritance so he’s sure that he’ll be more than happy to help out Timon.

Here are some of the characters introduced in this act:

  • Senator: This senator has lent money to Timon who does not appear to be in any hurry to pay him back. He comes armed with his legal documents to collect his debt.
  • Caphis: A servant to the Senator who comes knocking at Timon’s door to get the money he is owned.
  • TBD: _description_

Excited for act III?

A special shout out to Emily Murphy who wrote this article for CBC’s Canada Writes site.

Different Timon.

Different Timon.

Join us by contributing to the Bard Brawl journal volume I at our Indiegogo page.

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Follow @TheBardBrawl on Twitter.

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Email the Bard Brawl at bardbrawl@gmail.com

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BB: Timon of Athens, Act 1

10 Nov

TIMON

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

Welcome back Brawlers!

Today we start on our eighth play, Timon of Athens! You’re going to love this one.

Listen to or download the podcast.

Timon of Athens is a tragedy set in – you guessed it – Athens. Timon is a well-loved aristocrat who is extremely generous with his wealth. In other words, he’s a sucker surrounded by sycophants but he’s the only one who doesn’t see it.

First order of business, this is how you pronounce Timon’s name: /ňąta…™m…ôn/.

Seeing as that’s basically gibberish, here’s a clearer pronunciation guide: it’s Timon like Simon, not Timon like Timon and Pumba.

Moving on.

Only two scenes in this opening act but they cover a lot of ground. The play opens on a scene set inside one of the (probably richly appointed) halls of Timon’s house in Athens. A painter, poet, jeweller and merchant are discussing the fact that they each are hoping to win Timon as a patron, or to sell their products to him at an inflated price. We learn that this appears to be common practice and that Timon seems to operate under the motto of ‘no unreasonable offer refused.’

Eventually Timon arrives, followed by a messenger who tells him that his friend Ventidius is about to be carted off to debtor’s prison because he’s been unable to pay his debts. (Yes, unpaid invoices used to result in jail time, indentured service or flat-out slavery.) Of course, Timon cannot let his friend go to jail so he accepts to pay the debt on his behalf and asks the servant to bring him to dinner so he can eat the shirt of Timon’s back as well.

Hot on the heels of the this messenger comes an old Athenian gentleman who is upset because one of Timon’s poor servants wants to marry his daughter. No problem for Timon; he offers to match the dowry offered to allow Lucilius to marry her. No sooner has the old man walked off that the painter, poet, jeweller and merchant swoop in. However Apemantus, an ornery Athenian lord, calls them out for their self-interested flattery. Timon accuses Apemantus of being an arrogant and proud ass; Apemantus calls Timon out for being a sucker who spends his money buying false friends. (Apemantus is still going to eat Timon’s food though, and Timon isn’t going to kick Apemantus out for berating his guests.)

Scene II features the actual banquet itself. A bunch of lords and senators of Athens are in attendance, partying it up on Timon’s dime. Ventidius is there and thanks Timon for his hep in bailing him out of jail. In this short span, he has had a sudden and mysterious windfall: his father died and Ventidius inherited his fortune. He offers to pay Timon back twice the amount of his bail but Timon refuses to take his cash. In fact, he says, his bank account is always open for his friends.

More banter between Apemantus and Timon ensues and Timon threatens to banish Apemantus to the kiddy table. Timon then starts making speeches about how great his friends are and how he’s lucky to be able to take care of all of them. Some women dressed as Cupid and some Amazons then arrive to crash to party. After a dance, Timon feeds them too.

In the mood to hand out more gifts, Timon calls his servant Flavius to bring him a box of jewels. It would seem that Timon is in the habit of giving more than he can afford. Flavius tries to warn him that he’s broke even as he’s handing out jewels like they’re business cards. The party wraps up with everyone running off with their loot. Only Apemantus remains and he tries to get Timon to see that’s he’ being taken advantage of. Timon, of course, refuses to see it.

With that , here’s a short list of the major characters appearing in this act.

  • Poet, Painter, Jeweller and Merchant: Their titles pretty much sum it all up. These aren’t really fully fledged characters but are there to give Timon opportunities to give out more money than he can afford.
  • Timon: A naive and generous Athenian lord who’s not quite as wealthy as he thinks he is, in both his friends and his funds.
  • Apemantus: Honestly, Apemantus is a bit of a jerk. Is he right? Yes. Timon is being taken for a ride by all of his so-called friends. However, if your ‘friend’ was trying to point out your mistakes by being a sarcastic jerk, how likely would you be not to tell him to f-off? There’s a difference between flattery and tact, Ape-Mantis! (Sorry, I can’t help thinking ‘Godzilla vs Ape-Mantis’)
  • Alcibiades: He’s an Athenian general recently returned from battle. He’s actually one of Timon’s real friends.
  • Ventidius: This is the guy Timon bails out of jail. And who we now know is rich because his dad died and he inherited the fortune. Remember that because it might come back later.
  • Flavius: Timon’s servant and, it would appear, his chief bookkeeper. He’s the only guy who seems to know just how little money Timon actually has.

Surrounded by great friends, full of food and wine, where else could this play go but down, down, down! Should be entertaining.

Terry stopped by to give his interpretative reading of sonnet 38. Trust me, you want to stay for this one.

Stay tuned, Brawlers. 

Join us by contributing to the Bard Brawl journal volume I at our Indiegogo page.

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Email the Bard Brawl at bardbrawl@gmail.com

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Or leave us a comment right here!