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The Life of Timon of Athens is a play by William Shakespeare about the fortunes of an Athenian named Timon (and probably influenced by the philosopher of the same name, as well), generally regarded as one of his most obscure and difficult works. Originally grouped with the tragedies, it is generally considered such, but some scholars group it with the problem plays. The play has caused considerable debate among scholars. It is oddly constructed, with several lacunae (gaps) and for this reason is often described as unfinished, multi-authored, and/or experimental. No precise date of composition can be given and, while most place it as close but prior to the late romances, theories posited have ranged broadly from Shakespeare's first work to his last. It is usually grouped with the tragedies (as in the First Folio), though some scholars have placed it with the problem comedies despite the death of its title character. Source material includes Plutarch's "Life of Alcibiades" and Lucian's dialogue, Timon the Misanthrope. The play had not been published prior to its inclusion in the First Folio (1623).
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