Anonymous

TIMON OF ATHENS
The "University Timon"
Inner Temple?

circa 1581–1590?
1611?

a synoptic, alphabetical character list

ABYSSUS

A usurer. Eutrapelus is sent to prison because he owes him four talents, but Timon provides the money to relieve him. In IV.2 Gelasimus sells all his land to Abyssus to get money for his voyage to the Antipodes.

ACHILLES

Only mentioned. When Lollio gets drunk during the bacchanalia (II.5) before his sister's wedding, he thinks he is Achilles, and he calls the rest of the party his Myrmidones.

ALBIUS

A "ghost character." A former lover of Blatt. Blatt rejected him because he was beardless.

ARISTOTLE

Only mentioned. Stilpo and Steusippus refer to Aristotle and Plato in their pseudo-philosophical disputes. According to Stilpo Aristotle was "a blockhead, besides his beard he had not one hayre of learning" (V.4).

ATROPOS

A "ghost character," based on a misunderstanding. Hermogenes hears "atropos" and "paradoch" and thinks that the Lords Paradox and Atropos had been Aristotle's friends.

BLATT

Callimela's old nurse (80 years). When young, Blatt rejected her lovers Traneo, Albius, Curio and Demetrius. Now she wants to get married, but she is too old and too ugly. Lollio calls her "Hecuba." Only Gelasimus offers to marry her in the last scene.

CALLIMELA

Philargurus' daughter, Lollio's sister. She is ready to marry Gelasimus because he is rich and gullible. Immediately before their wedding ceremony she decides to marry Timon instead, because he seems to be richer. ("Who doth possess most gold shall me possess," III.2.31). Their wedding gets interrupted by a shipwrecked sailor, who announces that Timon has lost all his fortune. Callimela then tells her nurse Blatt to go to Gelasimus and tell him that she is again at his disposal. But Gelasimus declines because has heard Pseudocheus' stories about the Antipodes and he now intends to marry the Princess of the Antipodes. When Timon finds gold, Callimela entreats him again to marry her. Sarcastically, he tells her to marry his gold instead, and she agrees immediately.

CORINEUS

Only mentioned. Lollio mentions that Corineus fought with Gogmagog (Lollio, in Act III, sc. 1).

CURIO

A "ghost character," one of Blatt's former lovers. Blatt rejected him because his nose was too long.

DEMEAS

One of Timon's false friends, an orator. Two sergeants should take him to prison (II.5), but Timon releases him for 16 talents. Demeas then promises to be his friend and follows him to his parties, where he comments on the rhetorical figures the other guests use. When Timon asks him for money in Act IV.1, he pretends not to know him and only gives him one groan. Like the Poet and the Painter in Shakespeare's Timon, he reappears at Timon's banquet in IV.5 to make promises. In Act V he arrives with a "decree" that Timon, the son of Echeratides the Collitensian, had won the olympic games as a wrestler.

DEMETRIUS

A "ghost character," one of Blatt's former lovers. Blatt rejected him because he was too thin.

ECHERATIDES the COLLITENSIAN

A "ghost character". Timon's father (mentioned in Act V.6)

ENDYMION

Only mentioned. According to Pseudocheus the ruler of the "island of the moon".

EUTRAPELUS

One of Timon's false friends, a dissolate young man. Because he owes 4 talents to the usurer Abyssus he has to go to prison. Timon releases him for 5 talents. Eutrapelus then stays with Timon to drink and sing, later they are joined by Hermogenes, a fiddler. He pretends not to know Timon in Act IV.1, but he reappears at Timon's mock banquet in IV.5.

GELASIMUS

A foolish and naive young man. From his lately deceased father, Megadorus, he has inherited many houses and farms. He loves Callimela but is afraid to be rejected. He is an easy prey for Pseudocheus because he believes everything he says. When Philargurus hears of the young man's inheritance, he immediately offers him his daughter Callimela. Gelasimus then follows Pseudocheus' silly instructions and sings and laughs foolishly to impress Callimela. She agrees to marry him because he is rich and gullible, but the day before the wedding she leaves him for Timon. Gelasimus first wants to challenge her to a fight and revenge himself with his sword, but when he hears Pseudocheus' stories about a princess of the Antipodes who will fall in love with anyone at first sight, he decides to go to the Antipodes and marry her. He sells all his property to Abyssus and gives the gold to Pseudocheus, who has offered to carry it for him. Blatt then comes to tell him that Callimela would accept him again, but he refuses and just sends her a good-bye kiss. At Timon's banquet in IV.5 he is ready to leave for the Antipodes. Pseudocheus gives him a map that shows the way he has to fly. Booted and spurred, he starts to look for Pegasus and asks Timon whether he has seen a winged horse, but Timon only curses him. Paedio, his servant, brings him a fool's cap with asses' ears from Pseudocheus, who has now disappeared with his money. For the rest of the play he wears the fool's cap. He realizes that he has been duped and that he has lost all his money. Timon, overhearing his laments, offers him the grave he has made. But still digging, Timon finds gold and leaves. Gelasimus now wants to dig for gold as well, but without success. In the final scene he asks Blatt to marry him in the hope to get some gold as a wedding present from Timon.

GOGMAGOG

Only mentioned. Lollio mentions that Corineus fought with Gogmagog (Lollio, in Act III, sc. 1).

GRUNNIO

A servant of Philargurus. Obba calls him "transparent" and a ghost. His master Philargurus is so mean that Grunnio has to live on breadcrusts, he drinks vinegar and lodges in straw. In IV.4. he begs for food, but Obba throws him out.

HECUBA

Callimela's nurse Blatt is called "old Hecuba" by Lollio and Gelasimus.

HERMOGENES

One of Timon's false friends, a fiddler. Laches, Timon's faithful servant, wants to throw him out of Timon's house, but Timon then keeps a firm hold on Laches and has Hermogenes beat him. Hermogenes is nobly entertained and gets gold for new clothes, while Laches has to leave. The faithful Laches disguises himself as a soldier to return incognito to his master. On his way to Timon's house he surprises Hermogenes, hoodwinks and beats him. Hermogenes thinks that Nemesis or his own evil spirit has blinded him, and he is so relieved when Laches removes the hood, that he invites the unknown soldier to Timon's place. He wants to make him his servant and calls him Machaetes. The gold Timon gave him has made him so rich that he thinks it is now below his dignity to play the fiddle and sing at weddings. He has his page sing a song to Hymen at the wedding of Timon and Callimela. When Timon has lost everything and asks him for shelter, he tells him to go and hang himself, but he reappears again with all the other false friends at Timon's banquet in IV.5, begging for more gold.

HERMOGENES' PAGE

Hermogenes' page has to sing a song to Hymen at the wedding of Timon and Callimela, because Hermogenes thinks he is too noble now.

LACHES

Timon's faithful servant. He brings gold, but warns Timon not to spend it so lavishly among his friends. When he sees the fiddler Hermogenes in Timon's house, he wants to throw him out. But Timon binds Laches and tells Hermogenes to give him a sound beating, then he dismisses him. The faithful Laches now wants to go back to his master's house in a soldier's disguise. On the way he meets Hermogenes, hoodwinks and beats him, presenting himself as "Nemesis." Hermogenes thanks the unknown soldier who seems to have come to his rescue. He wants to make him his servant and calls him Machaetes. Even Timon does not recognize him and thinks he is Revenge when he comes to him in IV.3, and he bids him to invite all his friends to his mock banquet. Laches discovers himself to Timon in his distress (in V.2), thus showing that he is still his faithful servant, but Timon insists that he has to hate him because he now hates every man. Together they curse all humanity. When Timon finds gold and his false friends come again, Laches helps Timon to drive them away with a spade.

LOLLIO

Callimela's stupid brother, a country clown. His father Philargurus has kept him away from the city and its luxury. On his way to the city for his sister's wedding he meets Gelasimus, Timon and his friends. They laugh about his rustic behavior, Gelasimus complains that he stinks of garlic. Lollio is crowned as a "prince" at Timon's bacchanalia (II.5), and he is proud that he may wear Hermogenes' cloak, Eutrapelus' hat, and Gelasimus' sword. He gets so drunk that he thinks he is Achilles, that Blatt is Hecuba, and that all the others are his Myrmidones.

MACHAETES

Name assumed by Timon's servant Laches, while he is disguised as a soldier. Hermogenes wants him to be his servant in II.3.

MEGADORUS

A "ghost character," Gelasimus' father, who left him a fortune when he died. His son also calls him "Rubicunde of the Islands."

MELPOMENE

Only mentioned. The muse is the addressee in Gelasimus's song (V.4.25ff) "Come, come, o come Melpomene Singe dolefull Elegies with me."

MERCURY

Only mentioned. Hermogenes prays that the god Mercury may come from heaven and help him, when Laches beats him. Mercury does not appear as a character in this play. (In the source, in Lucian's dialogue Timon, Mercury appears as a character.)

MYRMIDONES

Only mentioned. When Lollio gets drunk he thinks that he is Achilles, that Blatt is Hecuba, and that all the others are his Myrmidones.

NEMESIS

Laches adopts this name when he takes his revenge and beats Hermogenes.

OBBA

Timon's butler. He thinks that his colleague Grunnio, Philargurus' servant, is "transparent," but does not give him anything to eat.

PAEDIO

Gelasimus' Page. In V.3 he asks for his leave after he has brought his master a fool's cap from Pseudocheus, who has left with all his money.

PARADOX

A "ghost character" based on a misunderstanding. Hermogenes hears "atropos" and "paradoch" and thinks that the Lords Paradox and Atropos were Aristotle's friends.

PEGASUS

A "ghost character". Gelasimus is convinced to have bought the mythical horse Pegasus from Pseudocheus. Although he has not seen the horse yet, he sends his servant Paedio to the smith to have the horse's shoes nailed before he rides him over the zodiac to the Antipodes.

PHILARGURUS

Father of Lollio and Callimela, a covetous and churlish old man. According to his servant Grunnio he counts the spiders in his house that nobody can steal one. He is pleased to have Gelasimus, a rich young heir, as his son in law. When Timon and his friends come to his house (III.1), he is afraid that they might steal his gold. But then he hears that Timon is richer than Gelasimus, and he now promises his daughter to him. When a sailor interrupts the wedding to tell Timon that all his ships are all sunk, Philargurus has the contract dissolved and takes his daughter back. He reappears at Timon's banquet in IV.5 and he comes with all the other false friends to beg Timon for money in the final scene.

PLATO

Only mentioned. Stilpo and Steusippus constantly refer to Aristotle and Plato in their pseudo-philosophical disputes. According to Speusippos the man in the moon is Plato's idea abstracted from the human species.

PRINCESS of the ANTIPODES

A fictitious character, one of the many people Pseudocheus invents. Gelasimus wants to ride on Pegasus to the Antipodes and marry her.

PSEUDOCHEUS

A "lying traveller." He tells Gelasimus how to court a girl, tells adventurous stories about his travels to the moon, over a milky sea to an island of cheese with houses of butter, and to the Antipodes. Gelasimus believes everything and does willingly what Pseudocheus tells him. When Gelasimus sells all his belongings for his voyage to the Antipodes, Pseudocheus offers to carry the money for him. He then disappears and sends Paedio with a fool's cap to his master.

REVENGE

Timon thinks that Laches in his disguise as a soldier is Revenge, and he sends him to invite all his former friends to a new and worthy feast (the mock banquet).

RUBICUNDE of the ISLANDS

A "ghost character," a name given by Gelasimus to his lately deceased father. (IV.2)

SAILOR

A shipwrecked sailor enters at the wedding to tell Timon that all his ships are sunk.

SERGENTS

Two Sergeants should take Demeas to prison in II.5. Timon pays 16 talents to set him free.

SOPHRONY

A "ghost character," the name of a prostitute in the bawdy song sung by Hermogenes, Timon and his friends during the bacchanalia in II.5.

SPEUSIPPUS

One of Timon's false friends, A lying philosopher. He has lengthy pseudo-philosophical discussions with his colleague Stilpo about Aristotle, the moon and Plato's ideas. When Timon asks them for help, they tell him to cloth himself with virtue if he has nothing else to wear. Both appear at Timon's mock banquet in IV.5 and they come with all the other false friends to beg Timon for money in the final scene.

STILPO

One of Timon's false friends, a lying philosopher. He has lengthy pseudo-philosophical discussions with his colleague Speusippus about Aristotle, the moon and Plato's ideas. When Timon asks them for help, they tell him to cloth himself with virtue if he has nothing else to wear. Both appear at Timon's mock banquet in IV.5 and they come with all the other false friends to beg Timon for money in the final scene.

TIMON

Timon, the son of Echeratides the Collitensian (V.6), is a rich young Athenian who loves to spend his money in parties with his friends. His servant Laches advises him to keep his gold locked up, but Timon wants to scatter it among his friends and among the commons and the poor. He gives Eutrapelus 5 Talents, although he only wants 4. He releases Demeas on his way to the prison with 16 talents, asking for nothing but friendship in return. His false friends and followers (Hermogenes, Gelasimus, Pseudocheus, Eutrapelus, Demas, Oppa, and Laches as Machaetes) elect him the souvereign of the "Bacchanales" before the wedding between Gelasimus and Callimela, but Timon defers this office to Lollio. When he sees Gelasimus' bride Callimela, he falls in love with her at first sight. He sends Machaetes (Laches) to tell Philargurus that he would marry her immediately, even without a dowry. Callimela accepts this new courtship when she hears that he is richer than Gelasimus. During the wedding ceremony a shipwrecked sailor appears and tells Timon that he has lost all his ships and all his money. Callimela and all his friends leave him now. He asks Eutrapelus and Demeas for a place to sleep, but they pretend not to know him. Hermogenes tells him to go and hang himself, and Speusippos and Stilpo tell him to cover himself in virtue if he needs clothes. Alone, Timon laments his fate and curses his former friends. His faithful servant Laches comes, but Timon thinks he is Revenge and sends him to invite all his false friends to a new banquet. When they are all assembled, he serves them stones painted like artichokes and throws them at them till they leave. Only Laches (as Machaetes) remains with him. When he discovers his true identity to Timon, he still wants to hate him because he now has sworn to hate every man. Together they curse all humanity, and Timon starts to dig his grave. When Gelasimus finally finds out that he has been duped by Pseudocheus, and that he has lost everything, Timon offers him his grave, but Gelasimus just wants to help him digging. As they dig, Timon finds gold. He wants to drown it, but Laches tells him he could use it for his revenge. When his former friends hear of his new riches, they all appear again. Callimela wants to marry him again, and all start to beg till Laches drives them away with his spade, Timon remains on the stage for his epilogue in which he tells the audience that his heart is growing mild again, he wants to lay aside his hate and intends to return to Athens.

TINGITANS

Inhabitants of Squilmagia, according to Pseudocheus.

TRANEO

A "ghost character," former lover of Blatt, rejected by Blatt because his beard was red. (II.1)

TYSIPHONE

Only mentioned. Timon prays to her to bring flames and burn the city of Athens (IV.3)

Go Back to Top