Study Guide

The Life of Timon of Athens Act 3, Scene 3

By William Shakespeare

Act 3, Scene 3

Read the full text of The Life of Timon of Athens Act 3 Scene 3 with a side-by-side translation HERE.


  • We're now at Sempronius's house, where Timon's servant is asking for money. Hmm… is it just us, or is there a pattern here?
  • Sempronius is surprised that Timon's servant has come to him instead of to Lucius, Lucullus, or even Ventidius. He asks the servant about this.
  • Of course, the servant already tried those men, and they refused.
  • When Sempronius hears this, he does a bit of quick thinking. He complains that since he was first to take any of Timon's gifts, he should be first to give to Timon, too. He's downright offended that Timon would wait to ask him last for money.
  • Because he is insulted (and, um, not because he is cheap), Sempronius says he won't give Timon a dime. That's a head-scratcher, for sure.
  • Actually, it's not. Sempronius, we're totally onto you.
  • Timon's servant is shocked and frankly a little confused by the twisted logic. But hey, it doesn't surprise him: men will go to any lengths not to lend money to a friend, he figures.