Study Guide

The Life of Timon of Athens Act 3, Scene 6

By William Shakespeare

Act 3, Scene 6

Read the full text of The Life of Timon of Athens Act 3 Scene 6 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • We hope you brought your Sunday best, because the banquet is about to begin. The whole gang is there: Lucullus, Lucius, Sempronius, Ventidius, and the other lords and Senators show up at Timon's house.
  • The guys are all a little bashful over the whole not lending Timon money thing. But then they get to talking, and they figure Timon was just messing with them.
  • The rumors must be false, they think. Timon can't be out of money, right? He was just testing their friendship by asking them for money. (Guess they bombed that test.)
  • It's all good, they tell one another. Then they all come up with fake reasons why they didn't lend Timon any money.
  • Hopefully that's all forgotten... and it must be, because when Timon enters a moment later, he welcomes them all as if nothing has changed.
  • When the men see the table, they're sure everything is cool, because they only see covered dishes. They know what that means: gift time. They figure the dishes must all be covered because they are so lavish that the reveal will be just as exciting as the gifts themselves.
  • Well, these guys are partly right.
  • Timon says grace... but it's not the type we learned in Sunday school. Timon is cynical and indignant. He says he is thankful for his friends who are nothing to him, so he'll bless them with nothing.
  • No one really seems to catch on—that is, not until they uncover the dishes in front of them.
  • Underneath the lids are a bunch of stones and warm water. What the heck kind of dinner party is this? The men are really confused.
  • That's when Timon begins to explain himself. He tells them he knows they are villains. He throws the water in their faces.
  • Timon calls the guys "parasites," "destroyers," and "trencher-friends" (translations: moochers). Then he throws stones at them. Unsurprisingly, they all run away.
  • Timon finishes off his passionate speech by saying he hates Athens. Oh, and all mankind hates it too. Boo-yah.
  • After Timon's gone, the men sneak back in to collect their things. They might be embarrassed, but that's no reason to leave behind a perfectly good gown or jewel.
  • The men also collectively decide that Timon is crazy. That's the only explanation for why he got angry at them, right? Riiiiiight.