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Tamburlaine the Great - Part 1

Christopher Marlowe

Book Overview: 

Tamburlaine the Great is the name of a play in two parts by Christopher Marlowe. It is loosely based on the life of the Central Asian emperor, Timur 'the lame'. The play is a milestone in Elizabethan public drama; it marks a turning away from the clumsy language and loose plotting of the earlier Tudor dramatists, and a new interest in fresh and vivid language, memorable action, and intellectual complexity. Along with Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, it may be considered the first popular success of London's public stage.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Meander: I have said. MEANDER. Then, having pass'd Armenian deserts now, And pitch'd our tents under the Georgian hills, Whose tops are cover'd with Tartarian thieves, That lie in ambush, waiting for a prey, What should we do but bid them battle straight, And rid the world of those detested troops? Lest, if we let them linger here a while, They gather strength by power of fresh supplies. This country swarms with vile outragious men That live by rapine and by lawless spoil, Fit soldiers for the 75 wicked Tamburlaine; And he that could with gifts and promises Inveigle him that led a thousand horse, And make him false his faith unto his 76 king, Will quickly win such as be 77 like himself. Therefore cheer up your minds; prepare to fight: He that can take or slaughter Tamburlaine, Shall rule the province of Albania; Who brings that traitor's head, Theridamas, Shall hav. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Not thrilling. I was disappointed. Perhaps I expected the talent of a peer: Shakespeare that is.

I am a great fan of Christopher Marlowe, both of his poetry and his plays. The Everyman edition that I own has held up under some pretty heavy usage, as I tend to mark up a book until it vomits pages. Good thing I own this one.

Marlowe's choice of subjects for plays always dumbfounded me. He went...more

Evidently, this play is not published by itself. I am planning on reading more Marlowe this year, but this review reference "Edward II." I've gotten a bee in my bonnet to read the history plays of Shakespeare now that "Edward III" has been entered into the canon. I read it a few months ago and I...more