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MonkeyNotes-Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare
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Scene 3

Summary

Another servant of Timon visits Lord Sempronius and tells him that his master has asked for his help. Sempronius like the others has no intention of helping Timon. He therefore comes up with a fantastic excuse. He pretends to be displeased for the fact that Lucius, Lucullus, and Ventidius have been approached before him. He sees no logical reason why Timon did not seek his help first. He doesn’t want to be considered as ‘a fool’ by other lords and therefore sends him back empty handed.

While returning back to Timon’s house, the servant muses that now that all his friends have betrayed Timon, all that he can do is trust the Gods to come to his assistance. He also realizes that Timon now has to remain indoors all the time so that he is not arrested for not paying his debts.


Notes

At first Sempronius points out how the other lords were enriched by Timon and hence Timon should have asked help from them. When the servant informs how they have refused him, he immediately changes his statement and says that his honor is touched by Timon’s behavior. The hypocritical Sempronius pretends that he is hurt by this treatment by Timon and refuses to help Timon. He contradicts his earlier statement by saying ‘I’d rather than the worth of thrice the sum H’ad sent to me first,’ meaning that he would have given thrice the sum needed if Timon would have asked him before asking the others.

Horrified at the ingratitude of Sempronius, the servant calls him a "goodly villain." He feels pity for his master. There is a quibble in the last sentence where Timon’s servant says ‘who can not keep his wealth must keep his house’ which means that Timon must remain indoors for the fear of being arrested. Timon servant calls Sempronius a villain for he rightly deserves it. He is not only ungrateful but cunning as well.

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