List iconTimon of Athens:
Act 4, scene 1
List icon

Timon of Athens
Act 4, scene 1



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

In Timon of Athens, Lord Timon discovers the limits of wealth and friendship. He spends freely on others and hosts banquets…

Act 1, scene 1

The stage fills with suitors to and admirers of Lord Timon. When he arrives, he spends lavishly in freeing a…

Act 1, scene 2

Timon lavishly entertains friends and suitors with food and drink and a masque of Cupid and Amazons, and displays his…

Act 2, scene 1

A senator, predicting the end of Timon’s days of glory, sends a servant to Timon to collect overdue loans.

Act 2, scene 2

Servants of Timon’s creditors gather and confront Timon, demanding immediate repayment of loans. Learning that he is bankrupt, Timon dispatches…

Act 3, scene 1

Timon’s servant Flaminius approaches Timon’s friend Lucullus for money and is denied.

Act 3, scene 2

Timon’s servant Servilius approaches Timon’s friend Lucius for money and is refused. Three strangers condemn the ingratitude of Timon’s “friends”…

Act 3, scene 3

Timon’s servant approaches Timon’s friend Sempronius for money and is refused.

Act 3, scene 4

The servants of Timon’s creditors gather at his gates. He confronts them in a rage and, after they are gone,…

Act 3, scene 5

Alcibiades pleads in vain before three Athenian senators for the life of one of his soldiers. Frustrated at being denied,…

Act 3, scene 6

Timon’s friends come to dinner again, but this time he serves them only water and stones and drives them away.

Act 4, scene 1

Timon abandons Athens and retires to the woods.

Act 4, scene 2

Flavius shares his remaining money with his fellow servants as they disperse.

Act 4, scene 3

Timon, digging for roots to eat, finds gold. He is visited by Alcibiades and his concubines, to whom he gives…

Act 5, scene 1

Timon is visited by the Poet and the Painter seeking the gold Timon is now rumored to possess. After he…

Act 5, scene 2

Athens learns that it will surely fall to Alcibiades. Its senators seek shelter behind its walls.

Act 5, scene 3

One of Alcibiades’ soldiers discovers Timon’s tomb and, since he cannot read Timon’s epitaph, he resolves to bring a wax…

Act 5, scene 4

A victorious Alcibiades listens to the apologies of the senators and agrees to the conditions they set. Athens then opens…

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Scene 1
Enter Timon.

 Let me look back upon thee. O thou wall
 That girdles in those wolves, dive in the earth
 And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent!
 Obedience fail in children! Slaves and fools,
5 Pluck the grave wrinkled Senate from the bench
 And minister in their steads! To general filths
 Convert o’ th’ instant, green virginity!
 Do ’t in your parents’ eyes! Bankrupts, hold fast!
 Rather than render back, out with your knives
10 And cut your trusters’ throats! Bound servants, steal!
 Large-handed robbers your grave masters are,
 And pill by law. Maid, to thy master’s bed!
 Thy mistress is o’ th’ brothel. Son of sixteen,
 Pluck the lined crutch from thy old limping sire;
15 With it beat out his brains! Piety and fear,
 Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
 Domestic awe, night rest, and neighborhood,
 Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades,
 Degrees, observances, customs, and laws,
20 Decline to your confounding contraries,
 And yet confusion live! Plagues incident to men,
 Your potent and infectious fevers heap
 On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica,

Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 2

 Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
25 As lamely as their manners! Lust and liberty,
 Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth,
 That ’gainst the stream of virtue they may strive
 And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains,
 Sow all th’ Athenian bosoms, and their crop
30 Be general leprosy! Breath infect breath,
 That their society, as their friendship, may
 Be merely poison! Nothing I’ll bear from thee
 But nakedness, thou detestable town!
 Take thou that too, with multiplying bans!
35 Timon will to the woods, where he shall find
 Th’ unkindest beast more kinder than mankind.
 The gods confound—hear me, you good gods all!—
 Th’ Athenians both within and out that wall,
 And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
40 To the whole race of mankind, high and low!
He exits.