Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare

Never has misanthropy been so eloquently expressed. Timon’s reversal of fortune serves as a cautionary admonition to our craving for material prosperity, as well as a cynical lesson on the fickle nature of men. The cynic Apemantus emerges as the wisest character in this story of riches to rags, yet even he is not spared Timon’s caustic calumnies. The conquering traitor Alcibiades is given the last word, dictating terms to Athens and demonstrating that states and communities are subject to the same vicissitudes of fortune as individuals. This play was bleak but memorable, if only because Timon’s curses on humanity will be ringing in my ears for a long time to come.

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