There is no evidence to date this play precisely. Some scholars argue that its style of content dates it to around 1604–1608.
The play wasn’t printed before appearing in the First Folio. It was probably typeset from Shakespeare’s draft manuscripts, or a transcript of them, with minor corrections from Heminge and Condell.
‘What is here?
Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?’
Timon of Athens, IV iii
Brief synopsis of the play
In this cold, satirical and psychological play, a rich and generous Athenian mistakes flattery for friendship: his level-headed steward Flavius and the Cynic philosopher Apemantus warn Timon that he is squandering his fortune, but his unthinking philanthropy finally bankrupts him. When creditors pursue him, his ‘friends’ won’t help: disenchanted, he exiles himself to a cave by the sea, where he discovers hidden treasure that offers him a chance of redemption – if only he could stop tormenting himself.