Study Guide

The Life of Timon of Athens Act 1, Scene 2

By William Shakespeare

Act 1, Scene 2

Read the full text of The Life of Timon of Athens Act 1 Scene 2 with a side-by-side translation HERE.


  • Everyone is invited to a banquet at Timon's house. There's music, laughter, and excellent food.
  • Ventidius comes in and thanks Timon for getting him out of debt. Timon's all, "No problem, man. It's the least I could do for a friend."
  • Of course, gloomy Apemantus isn't happy to be there. He makes a point of telling Timon all about it, and he gets called a "churl" in response. Oh, snap.
  • Timon is too nice to let the grumpiness continue. He offers Apemantus some meat, but Eeyore insists he's not enough of a brownnoser to take anything from Timon. "Don't you see that these fools are just using you?" Apemantus asks Timon.
  • Nothing can ruin Timon's mood, not even grumpy Apemantus. Timon proposes a toast of health and good cheer.
  • Two can play at this game: Apemantus says he'll take Timon's "health" and make it "look ill." At least that's what will happen to Timon for giving so much to his friends. All these people, Apemantus says, are drenched in Timon's blood.
  • Apemantus makes a few more sarcastic quips while Timon talks with his other guests.
  • Timon takes it upon himself to deliver a heartfelt speech. He tells his guests how he wishes he were poor so he could be closer to them. Um, okay.
  • Let's get ready to par-tay, because Cupid and a bunch of ladies have just arrived, prepared to dance.
  • Just when we think it's going to go Lionel Richie-style—all night long—Timon tells his steward Flavius to fetch his casket of jewels.
  • As Flavius runs off, he tells the audience in an aside that Timon is spending more than he should. Brain snack: an aside is used in theater when someone says something that no one else on stage can hear. It's basically a secret note passed just to the audience.
  • Timon starts giving out jewels like they're going out of style, and Flavius asks to speak with him in private. No, that can wait, Timon says: let's have some fun.
  • All the guests are stoked, but Flavius warns us again that Timon is overspending. We're beginning to think this isn't just a one-time thing.
  • Timon bestows all of his guests with more gifts, and then they eventually leave. Only Apemantus remains, with a warning that only fools give all their money away.
  • "Don't worry so much, Apemantus. Let me give you some gifts, too," Timon pleads.
  • But Apemantus will have none of it. He can't be bought, and he won't flatter Timon, either.