What role does money have in human psychology? This is one of several philosophical questions that William Shakespeare’s least popular play explores, and Mark, Wes, and Dylan start off our rumination on these with special guest Sir Jonathan Bate, editor of this new complete edition of Shakespeare’s plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company, who played Flavius in our audioplay.
We consider what exactly is wrong with Timon’s way of dealing generously with society. This seems like a virtue, but yet it not only sets him up for disappointment, but may in itself be a transactional, power-grabbing, hyper-conventional way of dealing with others that rules out true friendship. Then what about his “break” that divides the two halves of the play? What could possibly explain this? We discuss Timon’s conversations with Flavius the loyal steward, Apemantus the cynic, and the bandits to try to figure out what broken Timon’s philosophy actually is.
In part two (currently available only to PEL supporters, but you’ll get it next week), Sarah Manton will instead be our guest (also with Seth returning) to talk about Diogenes the Cynic, the Alcibiades plot, and Timon as “a world without women.” Then in the supporter-only part three, we’ll talk about what Shakespeare seems to be saying about art and how to be a Shakespeare consumer.
Image by Genevieve Arnold. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop.