In his two plays, Tamburlaine the Great, Parts I and II, Marlowe deviates from the norms of the theory of tragedy in his depiction of Tamburlaine. According to the Aristotelian theory of tragedy, a tragic hero is of a noble origin and enjoys a great rank right from the very beginning of the play. Furthermore, a tragic hero is, in a simple sense, a man likeable for his goodness or greatness. A tragic hero, in addition, is doomed to make a serious error that will cause his downfall and tragic death finally evoking pity and fear in the audience. In fact, Tamburlaine's character noticeably violates these three elements of the model tragic hero.
Firstly, Tamburlaine is ironically of a base birth. In fact he is a Scythian shepherd by birth and does not enjoy any noble rank in his environment. The irony is underlined when he unrighteously wins the crown of Persia. Mycetes' crown is taken over by Tamburlaine neither by means of physical power nor by righteous nobility, but strangely enough by means of astounding speeches. Tamburlaine is endowed, instead of noble birth, the ability to produce soul-stirring speeches. He, for instance, easily provokes the admiration of Theridamas to such a degree that makes him say: "Not Hermes, prolocutor to the gods, could use persuasions more pathetical." (pt. 1, I.ii.210) Moved by Tamburlaine's speech, Theridamas treacherously throws Mycetes aside and sides with Tamburlaine. It is worth shedding light in this context on the fact that as Tamburlaine acquires the military power, he turns to depend on it rather than on his speeches. We seem him only negotiate once; not feeling strong enough, he negotiates Theridamas to gain him to his side, but later on he merely depend...
... middle of paper ...
...to the element of Catharsis, which is the evocation of pity and/or fear in the audience. Actually, Tamburlaine's end does not arise much pity since the pity of the audience is at its maximum only when the character is noble, which is a feature that Tamburlaine lacks as indicated earlier in this essay.
Finally, Tamburlaine fails to fit into the definition the tragic hero. He is merely a low classed man who rises by illegitimate means and then naturally goes back to his lowliness. The maximal point of interaction between the audience and the tragedy is when Catharsis is provoked, a point that Tamburlaine fails to meet. Well, the historical background of the play tells us that Tamburlaine the Great, Part II did not reap much of the audience's admiration; again this is theoretically attributed to the fact that Tamburlaine mismatches the definition of tragic heroes.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Rhetoric of Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine The hero of Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great did not lead the life of any ordinary Scythian shepherd. Throughout the course of the drama, the once lowly Tamburlaine is bent on a path of unstoppable conquest, upheld as much by intense personal charisma and power of speech as by the strength of his sword. He exemplifies this eloquence throughout his many speeches in the play, not least of which is his “Thirst of Reign” address to the defeated usurper of the Persian crown.... [tags: Christopher Marlowe Tamburlaine]
798 words (2.3 pages)
- Heroism is different to each person. To someone it might be to look impressive, or act above the ordinary. To someone else, it might be have amazing strength or courage in danger situation. Or maybe it might be having all of the heroic qualities, such as doing brave actions or having great determination. I can’t tell someone what the definition of heroism because there are just so many. But to me, heroism can be well described in this quote from Arthur Ashe. “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.... [tags: Heroism]
507 words (1.4 pages)
- In William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar the element of tragic hero is presented. A tragic hero is defined as a character of high standing who has a flaw that leads to his or her downfall, this individual is enlightened of his or her mistakes and is often viewed with pity or sympathy by the audience. Shakespeare has created two tragic heroes in his classic, Brutus and Caesar. The character primarily focused on as a tragic hero in this story is the protagonist, Brutus. Brutus is a tragic hero because he is of high political standing, a poor judge of character and is enlightened of his mistakes.... [tags: Character Analysis]
812 words (2.3 pages)
- Aristotle once said that a Greek Tragedy must include an important person that has a flaw. By this flaw, the audience should feel pity and fear. Creon, a character in the Greek tragedy “Antigone”, resembles a perfect example of a tragic hero. This play was written by Sophocles, a historic playwright during the 5th century. It begins with the illegal burial of Polyneices, Antigone’s beloved brother. Creon, the King of Thebes, is coerced to condemn his niece Antigone to death. Being loyal to his city, Creon follows through with his punishment of Antigone.... [tags: Greek Tragedy]
1036 words (3 pages)
- In the tragedy “Antony and Cleopatra”, Shakespeare presents our protagonist Mark Antony as a tragic hero. He does this by using a number of dramatically effective methods, including language, staging techniques and structure. Aristotle defines a tragic hero as a character of noble stature who has a tragic flaw (usually hubris which is over confidence/arrogance) and suffers a downfall that is partially their fault but also due to factors beyond their control. The downfall they suffer exceeds the “crime” but the tragic hero gains some sort of self-awareness.... [tags: Antony And Cleopatra]
1734 words (5 pages)
- Macbeth Essay In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth was presented as a dynamic tragic hero through several different ways. The methods Shakespeare used to portray Macbeth in this manner was through Macbeths history; including his social stature derived from battle, the representation of greed and power he sought out, and by his mental deterioration over time. Macbeth’s own demise was cultivated by the power he wished to obtain, and that ultimately brought him down.... [tags: Macbeth, Tragic hero, William Shakespeare]
890 words (2.5 pages)
- Calvin Coolidge once said, “Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion” (brainyquote.com). Heroes are among one of the most popular literary figures of all time. A Greek philosopher, Aristotle, wrote his notion of classic from of heroism called tragic heroism in his work entitled Poetics. In Poetics, Aristotle explains that there are certain qualities that a tragic hero has that can qualify him or her as tragically heroic. Two Grecian literary legends, Achilles from Homer’s Iliad and Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex, fit the description of an Aristotelian tragic hero.... [tags: Aristotelian tragic heroes]
759 words (2.2 pages)
- Stephen Crane's A Mystery of Heroism Stephen Crane, an avant-garde writer of his time, forced his readers to look beyond his written words for a more underlined, meaningful moral in most of his stories. Crane follows a strict pattern in most of his work. His subject matter usually deals with the physical, emotional, and intellectual responses of ordinary people confronted by extraordinary, extreme experiences. Fairly common themes are presented in his writing, including fallen humanity and harsh realities; yet all seem to overlap in the category of heroism.... [tags: Stephen Crane Mystery Heroism Essays]
1314 words (3.8 pages)
- In the Iliad there are many characters that could be considered heroic. But the two main characters that stand out as heroes to me are swift-footed Achilles and flashing-helmet Hector. Numerous times throughout the epic they display qualities and traits that are unsurpassed by anyone on their side. Many times throughout the epic Achilles and Hector are tested for their strength, and will to win in battle, which for both warriors always ends up positive because they always win their battles. Although both fighters are among the elite status in the armies, they each show human and god-like qualities that help them be as a fierce and feared as possible.... [tags: Greek Literature]
1041 words (3 pages)
- Heroism in Othello Who are the true heroes in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello. What is their perspective on making deep sacrifice for what they believe in. Let’s find the heroes and analyze their perspective on suffering voluntarily. Helen Gardner in “Othello: A Tragedy of Beauty and Fortune” considers Iago’s wife Emilia to be a true hero of the play because of her fearless outlook on death itself: Emilia’s silence while her mistress lived is fully explicable in terms of her character.... [tags: Othello essays]
1628 words (4.7 pages)