The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1483  Monday, 9 August 2004

From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 8 Aug 2004 14:33:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Timon of Athens


Rereading Timon of Athens and seeing it performed at Stratford (ON)
provokes these questions.

Critics generally agree that the text is flawed, but I find that few
offer a clear explanation of its flaws beyond claiming that the text is
unfinished. I am wondering how we would figure it to be unfinished. And
what is missing from the play that one would add to it?

Besides Timon, what plays have banqueting scenes? I think of Macbeth and
Richard III (or is it merely a council table when Hastings is
betrayed?). As most seem to think Timon is a collaboration of
Shakespeare and Middleton, can you help me list both Shakespearean and
non-Shakespearean banquet scenes? (This question will send me to reading
The Bloody Banquet.)

I think the Stratford staging successfully places the first half of the
action in a New York-ish club millieu, clearly homosocial. Can anyone
direct me to a critical reading that emphasizes homosocial and/or
constructions of masculinity in this play? For that matter, has any one
reading of Timon strongly impressed any listmembers?

Of the three plays I saw at Stratford, I would say that Timon was the
best. I enjoyed seeing Cymbeline for my first time, but I found it
lacking a point of view--what the staging is supposed to convey about
the play. To my surprise, Macbeth was the least of the plays--too many
missed opportunities to do something innovative. "Out, out, brief
candle" should be acted, not recited.

Jack Heller
Huntington College

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