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The following scene is the longest in the play. It portrays Timonís attitude towards mankind. As the play opens the readers see that Timon has discovered a lot of Gold. He is very happy because he now knows the value of this gold. He decides to put this gold to proper use.
He instructs nature to destroy the earth. This shows how the refusal of support from his friends has effected him. It has changed him to such an extent that, he wants the entire humanity to suffer and die. He even portrays his hatred for virgins, newborns, children, and priests. This shows his mental instability.
Animal imagery, which is quite frequent, runs through in the play. In this act too, Timon tells Alcibiades that he would have liked him and tolerated him if he were a dog instead of a man. This once again reflects Timonís hatred for mankind. He now prefers the company of beasts to that of man.
When Timon finds gold, he is an experienced man therefore he knows its value and how he is going to spend it. He decides that, he is not going to use it for the benefit of mankind but for its destruction.
Critics are not very certain about whether Alcibiades was aware of Timonís fortune. When Alcibiades sees Timon in the woods, he is sympathetic towards him and even offers him some gold. When Alcibiades questions Timonís present condition he gives an example from nature. Moon gives light to earth, but she does not have light of her own, she borrows light from the sun. This give and take relation that goes on so smoothly in nature did not happen in his case, where he has only given but hasnít got anything in return.
Alcibiades is very kind and gentle towards Timon and his attitude shows his good qualities. But he is not as noble as Timon. He cannot understand Timonís nature and his actions and feels that Timon is mentality unstable.
This scene also gives information of Timonís military service to Athens, when Alcibiades remarks that Athens and her people have forgotten that Timon had been a capable leader in the war. Timon tell Alcibiades to take revenge on Athens if not, it would destroy him. This is what he means when he tells Alcibiades to behave like a man with a prediction that either he should kill the child or the child would kill him.
Seeing Apemantus, Timon shouts "plague, plague," which shows how he dislikes the very presence of mankind. Timonís encounter with Apemantus is not a pleasant one. In fact he keeps arguing which makes Timon so angry that he drives him away by throwing stones at him.
Timonís confrontation with the bandits is an unusual one. Instead of the bandits stealing from him, Timon gives gold to the bandits and commands them to steal. He even gives an example from nature, how nature itself is a thief. For instance, the sun robs the vast sea, the moon, pale fire from the sun and so on.
Although Timon claims to be a misanthrope he cannot hate all mankind for his faithful steward Flavius does not allow him to do so. When Flavius comes to visit Timon in the woods, Timon at first doubts him. He feels that, like the others, Flavius too must have come out of greed. Timon however is happy to know that his servant is indeed a faithful man. He admits to himself that not all mankind is bad and that Flavius is the only honest man alive.