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Tamburlaine the Great: Christopher Marlowe (Revels Student Editions MUP) Paperback – October 8, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0719054365 ISBN-10: 0719054362 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Revels Student Editions MUP
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press; 1 edition (October 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719054362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719054365
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,547,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

First play by Christopher Marlowe, produced about 1587 and published in 1590. The play was written in two parts, each of which has five acts, and was based on the earlier Silva de varia leccion (1540; The Foreste; or, Collection of Histories) by the early 16th-century Spanish scholar and humanist Pedro Mexia. Marlowe's "mighty line," as Ben Jonson called it, established blank verse as the standard for later Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatic writing. The play recounts the brutal rise to power and the mysterious end of the bloody 14th-century Mongol conqueror Timur, or Tamburlaine. Marlowe's gifts are displayed not only in his supple poetry but also in his ability to view his tragic hero from several angles, revealing both the brutality and the grandeur of the character. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author


J. S. Cunningham is Emeritus Professor of English Literature from Leicester University

Eithne Henson is a retired Lecturer of English Literature.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robin on April 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not going to attempt to review the Tamburlaine plays, except to say that if you enjoy Shakespeare and haven't read Marlowe, get started. I love these plays.

The quality of this edition of the plays, however, is worth describing. I purchased this edition for my students in an Honors High-School English class. It's a reasonable edition to teach with. The footnotes do a good job of identifying and explaining the concepts and terms my students weren't familiar with, and thankfully they are on the bottom of each page, rather than at the end of the book (which very few students will bother to turn to). The introductory material is OK, but not fabulous; if you want your students do to any serious background reading, you'll probably be making photocopies of other sources.

The price was right, and the edition was fine for the classroom; I'd probably buy this edition again for students.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christina Nordlander on August 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I love the "Tamburlaine" of Christopher Marlowe, because I've read it and couldn't resist it. The story is not melodramatically forced, but rather follows in a smooth and epic line, giving it the texture of a documentary. As a tragedy it's weird, encompassing all drifts of literature: darkly humorous, rhetorical, romantic, violent and deep, with an indescribable grandeur. People commenting on Marlowe's work usually regard him as psychologically shallow, but in this play the terrifying hero is so charismatically evoked in his language, sometimes rhetoric and sometimes commonplace, that I left the book with a queer sense of something between love and dread. Even Tamburlaine's worst deeds, like his cursory humiliation of the captive kings, gain an odd flavour of predestination: they're more of the hijinx of a power-drunk teenager than the actions of a cynical tyrant. Everyone should read this work, in which the dark-tinted wonders of the mediaeval Orient are called up in some of the most steelishly beautiful poetry I've ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Gallick on December 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recently had the privilege of seeing the great classic actor John Douglas Thompson in the role of Tamburlaine. He is appearing at TFANA in Brooklyn through December 21 and he made this demanding play come alive.
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By Farhee Tiwana on September 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
My hubby's fav book of his fav idol.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By khw on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
"You shall have honors as your merits be," Tamburlaine promises the Persian turncoat, Theridimas (1.2.254). Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine makes no apologies for the rise of his shepherd to the heights of power, and frustrates the traditional tragedy by letting a ruthless character with an arsenal of tragic flaws fly through the play untouched. For readers, the boundless Tamburlaine becomes almost absurd, but a theme of the play resonates with the modern world, as Tamburlaine operates like an rogue entrepreneur who leaves the farm to become the owner of Persia, all while rejecting the forms of entitlement common to his age and redefining the rules of the game. He pulls himself up by his own bootstraps, like various modern leaders of the 20th century. However, his goal has no mapped out ideal behind it, other than the blind ambition and ruthless tactics he needs to uproot the status quo.

The play begins with infighting among the Persian nobles, with Cosroe tormenting his brother, the king, Mycetes. At first sight, their banter seems comedic, but the subtext of the opening scene leads to further simplicities and exposes the single-minded holes in the mindset of the aristocracy, as the royal brothers beset themselves with power plays and infighting. They represent the entitled party, the assuming elite, and they label Tamburlaine as a "fox," a "thief" who "robs your merchants," he is "incivil," and operates through "barbarous arms" (1.1.31-40).

The initial portrayal of a fox contrasts with the following scene, where the characterization changes to a "lion" (1.2.52). Techelles, who at first seems a pandering subordinate, believes in Tamburlaine: "Methinks I see kings kneeling at his feet" (1.2.55).
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Tamburlaine the Great: Christopher Marlowe (Revels Student Editions MUP)
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