The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0507 Monday, 17 March 2003
Date: Friday, 14 Mar 2003 09:03:13 -0800
Subject: 14.0493 Re: How Old is Timon of Athens
Comment: Re: SHK 14.0493 Re: How Old is Timon of Athens
Intrigued by the question, I went to Plutarch's "The Life of Anthony." I
believe this is the source that gave William the inspiration to write
Timon and gives the play its tie to A&C. Plutarch informs us that Timon
knew Alcibiades when he was a 'hot youth.' Timon favours Alcibiades
because, as he tells Apemantus, "one day this young man will do infinite
mischief to the Athenians."
If we consider "hot youth" to be at about the age of 20 ( personal
re-interpretation of ones 'hottest' year of youth perfectly acceptable
in the following formula), then Timon would have known Alcibiades in the
year 430 BC. The event Timon predicts of Alcibiades will take place in
407 BC. This gives us a 23 year span. If we assume that Timon is in his
mid thirties, (certainly at least one generation older for him to be
referring to Alcibiades as a 'young man'), then we have an age span of
Timon from mid 30's to mid 50's.
So again a mid-forties, 'my life sucks', age bracket for Timon would
According to Plutarch, Anthony considers becoming a 'Timon' following
the battle of Actium ( Marcus built himself a dwelling place in the
water near Pharos). Anthony was 52 years old at Actium.
Will & Company
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