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MonkeyNotes-Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare
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Act II

Scene 1

Summary

The scene is laid in a Senatorís house in the city of Athens. As the scene opens, one notices that, a Senator is in conversation with his servant, Caphis. The Senator orders Caphis to fetch the money that Timon owes him and which amounts to about twenty five thousand. The Senator can foresee Timonís future due to his involvement in ceaseless extravagance. The Senator points out that Timon would offer gold even if a beggarís dog were presented to him. The wealth that Timon gives away in exchange for the gift is several times the price of the gift. The Senator can sense how unsafe Timonís estate is, for there is no one to stop the flow of guests. And Timon will continue to give away his wealth as long as people will come to his house. He commands Caphis to get the money back immediately and to hurry before it is too late.


Notes

Act II is completely different from the previous one. There is a total change in the atmosphere. In the former Act there was enjoyment and merry making, but now the whole situation is reversed. The ruin of Timon begins. The readers can see the change in the behaviors of the creditors towards Timon since Timon has nothing to offer them now.

This scene throws light on the character of the Senator. He is portrayed as a selfish, greedy, and shrewd character. This contributes to the building up of the action. The Senator gives his servant all the instructions needed to make sure he gets his money back. He claims to love and honor Timon, but at the same time he is not ready to break his back to heal Timonís finger meaning that he will not help Timon at his own cost. He orders his servant to hasten for he fears that all the property will go to the hands of the rightful owner and Timon will not have anything. The Senator here is representative of all the others, who will now demand an absolute clearance of their debts.

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