by Danny Nguyen
UNL Undergraduate Student
Timon is a wealthy man at the beginning of the play. He shares his wealth with his friends and does not expect anyone to give anything back in return. This mirrors the life of King James, whom also had trouble handling money. The reason for an occurrence in pattern could be how the power of money has on oneself. King James, during his reign, would ask favors from his favorite people, from writers to sundry artists.
In this last act of “Timon of Athens,” The Poet and Painter approaches Timon in the woods, where Timon is residing. Hearing rumors that Timon has gold, the two becomes extremely kind and understanding to Timon, so that if Timon ever returns to Athens, he’ll owe them a favor. However, it will be a challenge to please and comfort Timon, as the two men do not have any paintings to present to him. With no paintings to present, the two disguise a plan to only verbally tell Timon of the paintings.
After overhearing the plan of the Poet and Painter, Timon acts if he doesn’t know the plan. Within a short moment, he does not believe their plan and beats them. Soon after hearing about Timon living in the woods, Flavius comes with two senators and urges Timon to come back to Athens, as Alcibiades is killing the countrymen. Regardless of the news, Timon does not want anything to do with Athens, as he has been exiled and does not want Athenians to curse him. As Timon shares his views, he also told the Senators that he loves his countrymen at the same time. Although if they want to get away from Alcibiades’ wraths, they can go hang themselves. Needless to say, the Senators leave.
As the two Senators go back to Athens, they discussed to the other Senators that Timon does not want any business with Athens. During this scene, a soldier then goes to find Timon in the woods. As he treks further into the woods, he finds an epitaph that says that Timon is dead. However, the soldier cannot read the writing, so he takes it to Alcibiades.
In the last scene, Alcibiades arrives at the city gates of Athens. With rules and regulations that Alcibiades want to enforce, he wants orders the Senators to give him all of his and Timon’s enemies, as well as apologize for all of their wrongdoings, and lastly obey all the new rules that will be enforced.
Amidst all of the talk between the Senators and Alcibiades, the soldier who wandered into the woods to find Timon comes back with the inscription of the writing that he found. Alcibiades reads the epitaph aloud and reflects on Timon’s death. With the death of Timon, Alcibiades will keep Timon in his mind and with everyone else in Athens of his nobleness. The drums start, and Alcibiades gains victory over Athens.