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Karl Klein introduces Shakespeare's play as a complex exploration of a corrupt, moneyed society, and Timon himself as a rich and philanthropic nobleman who is forced to recognize the inherent destructiveness of the Athenian society from which he retreats in disgust and rage. Klein establishes Timon as one of Shakespeare's late works, arguing that evidence for other authors is inconclusive. He shows the play to be neither tragedy, satire nor comedy, but a subtle and complete drama whose main characters contain elements of all three genres.
List of illustrations; List of abbreviations and conventions; Introduction: date, the play and its themes, critical approaches, the play on the stage, the 1999 RSC production (A. R. Braunmuller); Narrative and dramatic treatments of the Timon legend from Lucian to The Comedy of Timon' authorship; The Timon legend; List of characters; The play; Supplementary notes; Textual analysis; Reading list.