Tamburlaine the Great Themes

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The New Human

Tamburlaine, with his cruelty, his ambition, his tremendous capacity for violence, and his intense passion for his wife, represented a new and shocking type of hero for late sixteenth-century audiences. He was the equivalent of what audiences today might consider a Romantic hero—a passionate male obsessed with war who defies convention and whose fervency goes far beyond what is even conceivable for most people. Audiences were not even necessarily intended to understand Tamburlaine, such was his shock value and his capacity to break through the very fabric of society with his ceaseless conquests and unquenchable thirst for power.

Because Tamburlaine was a new type of hero, conquering the traditions of restraint and mercy with his passion, eloquence, and power, he challenged the traditional morality system that pervaded London theaters in the early Elizabethan period. Unlike the conventional plays that preceded Tamburlaine the Great, Marlowe's work...

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This section contains 793 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tamburlaine the Great Study Guide
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Tamburlaine the Great from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.