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Tamburlaine

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default Tamburlaine

مُساهمة من طرف SEMSEM في الخميس يونيو 03, 2010 7:48 pm

Plot
Summary





Part 1, Acts 1 – 2

Tamburlaine the
Great
begins with a prologue declaring that, unlike the silly
wordplay of previous literature, this play will feature the "high
astounding" words and actions of a conqueror. Act 1 then opens with the
king of Persia, Mycetes, complaining to his brother Cosroe of a band of
outlaws led by a "Scythian" shepherd named Tamburlaine. Scythians would
technically have lived north and northeast of the Black Sea, but Marlowe
uses the term interchangeably with "Tartar," which signifies the area
of East Asia controlled by Mongol tribes. Cosroe criticizes his brother
for being a weak and foolish king, and Mycetes instructs his chief
captain Theridamas to kill Tamburlaine and his band before they enter
Persia. Then, two Persian lords inform Cosroe of widespread unrest and
offer him the crown, which Cosroe accepts.
Act 1, scene 2
introduces Tamburlaine, who has captured the Egyptian princess Zenocrate
and is declaring his love for her. Theridamas arrives with one thousand
soldiers, compared to Tamburlaine's five hundred, but Tamburlaine
convinces Theridamas in a parlay to join his side. In act 2, Cosroe
joins with Tamburlaine to overthrow his brother. When Mycetes hears of
this, his lord Meander forms a plan to throw gold on the field in order
to distract soldiers, whom he considers to be greedy thieves.
Tamburlaine encounters Mycetes attempting to hide his crown in a hole;
Tamburlaine tells Mycetes that he will not steal his crown yet, but take
it when he wins the battle. After Tamburlaine and Cosroe conquer
Mycetes's army, Cosroe departs for Persepolis, the capitol. Tamburlaine
decides to challenge Cosroe to a battle for the Persian crown.
Tamburlaine triumphs and Cosroe dies, cursing Tamburlaine and
Theridamas.



Part 1, Acts 3 – 5

In act 3, scene
1, the Turkish Emperor Bajazeth discusses with his subsidiary kings
their siege of Constantinople, which was then held by Christians. He
warns Tamburlaine not to enter Africa or "Graecia," which included much
of the Balkan peninsula, then under Turkish control. In the next scene,
Tamburlaine overhears the Median, or Iranian, Lord Agydas urge Zenocrate
to disdain Tamburlaine's suit, but Zenocrate stresses that she wants to
be his wife. Tamburlaine surprises them, and Agydas stabs himself to
avoid torture. Act 3 concludes with Tamburlaine's victory over the Turks
and Tamburlaine making slaves of Bajazeth and his wife Zabina.
Zenocrate's
father, the "soldan," or sultan of Egypt, opens act 4 by vowing to stop
Tamburlaine's advances upon Egypt with the help of the king of Arabia,
who was Zenocrate's betrothed before Tamburlaine kidnapped her.
Tamburlaine and Zenocrate then humiliate and torture Bajazeth and
Zabina. Tamburlaine vows to overtake Egypt despite his wife's plea to
pity her father. In act 5, the governor of Damascus, besieged by
Tamburlaine's army, sends a group of virgins to plead for mercy, but
Tamburlaine has them slaughtered and hoisted on the city walls. When
Tamburlaine goes to fight the soldan and the king of Arabia, Bajazeth
and Zabina kill themselves by beating out their brains. Zenocrate finds
them and is dismayed by their and her people's blood on Tamburlaine's
hands. After the king of Arabia dies and Tamburlaine wins the battle,
sparing the soldan's life and actually giving him more territory than
before, Tamburlaine crowns Zenocrate queen of Persia.



Part
2, Acts 1 – 3


Orcanes, the king of "Natolia," or Anatolia, the
region east of the Bosporus in present-day Turkey, and Sigismond of
Hungary begin act 1 by swearing to uphold a truce, while Tamburlaine
advances on Anatolia from Egypt. Bajazeth's son Callapine, who is
Tamburlaine's prisoner in Egypt, then convinces his jailer Almeda to
help him escape, promising him a kingdom. Meanwhile, Tamburlaine
instructs his three sons on the arts of war; he harasses Calyphas, the
son not inclined to fight, for being a coward. Tamburlaine meets
Theridamas, Techelles, and Usumcasane, and they prepare to march on
Natolia.
In act 2, Sigismond agrees to break his vow with Orcanes
and attack the Natolian army while Orcanes is preparing to engage
Tamburlaine. Orcanes wins the battle, however, attributing the victory
partly to Christ, since Sigismond broke his vow to the Christian savior.
Tamburlaine then discovers that Zenocrate is sick. Her physicians can
do nothing to save her, and she dies. Act 3 begins with the crowning of
Callapine as the Turkish emperor, and Callapine's vow to avenge his
father's wrongs. Tamburlaine then burns down the town in which Zenocrate
died, forbidding the world to rebuild it, and gives his sons a lesson
in fortitude. Theridamas and Techelles march northward, where they sack
Balsera, a town on the Natolian frontier. They capture its captain's
wife, Olympia, after she burns her son's and husband's bodies.
Tamburlaine and Usumcasane then parlay with Callapine and his subsidiary
kings, threatening each other and boasting.



Part 2,
Acts 4 – 5


Act 4, scene 1 reveals Tamburlaine's sons Amyras and
Celebinus attempting to convince their brother Calyphas to fight, but
Calyphas refuses. After Tamburlaine returns in triumph, he stabs
Calyphas, calling him slothful and weak and ordering that the Turkish
concubines bury him. In the next scene, Theridamas attempts to court
Olympia, but she wishes to die and tricks him into stabbing her.
Tamburlaine then rides in his chariot drawn by the former kings of
"Soria," or Syria, and "Trebizon," or Trabzon, an area in the
northeastern section of present-day Turkey, and tells his soldiers to
rape the Turkish concubines.
Tamburlaine's next conquest is of
Babylon. Since the governor refuses to yield the city, Tamburlaine has
him hung in chains and shot. He then orders the kings of Trebizon and
Soria hung, bridles Orcanes and Jerusalem on his coach, orders all
Babylonian men, women, and children drowned, and commands that sacred
Islamic books be burnt. Afterwards, Tamburlaine feels "distempered," and
soon it becomes clear that Tamburlaine is deathly ill. En route to
Persia, a messenger arrives to inform Tamburlaine that Callapine, who
escaped from the battle in Natolia, has gathered a fresh army and means
to attack. Tamburlaine scares them away, but he is too weak to pursue
them. He retires to review his conquests and regret that he cannot
conquer more. He then crowns his son Amyras, orders Zenocrate's hearse
to be brought in, and dies.

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