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Timon of Athens

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In the Spotlight

Quote in Context

microsoft imagesWherever we shall meet, for Timon's sake,
Let's yet be fellows; let's shake our heads, and say,
As 'twere a knell unto our master's fortunes,
'We have seen better days.' Let each take some;
Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more:
Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.
Servants embrace, and part several ways
O, the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us!
                                                         Timon of Athens (1.2), Flavius

"The character of Flavius, the steward to Timon, even Shakespeare himself never surpassed, for simple, unadorned integrity, and faithful attachment to his master, "through good report and through evil report." It is the only piece of characteristic contrast in the play; and it is as if the poet intended to show, in this solitary, individual example, the great beauty and steady lustre of straightforward honesty and unostentatious fidelity, placed in juxtaposition with all the vices of those who hasten to become rich." [Charles Cowden-Clarke, Shakespeare Characters]