Study Guide

The Life of Timon of Athens Allusions

By William Shakespeare


Literary and Philosophical References

  • Plutarch: Timon of Athens takes his name from Plutarch's legendary misanthrope. 
  • Book of Solomon 5:10-11 in the Bible: 1.1.50-51. 
  • Volpone by Ben Jonson: 3.1-3 might reference Jonson's play, although critics are unsure.

Historical References

  • Alcibiades: the character takes his name from the famous Athenian military commander and orator
  • Cupid (1.2.120-154)
  • "hot ardent zeal": probably a reference to the Gun Powder Plot against King James I (3.3.32-34).
  • Neptune (5.4.77-79)