Title: Tamburlaine the Great, Part the Second.
Author: Christopher Marlowe.
Language Difficulty Rating: 4 (slightly difficult).
Setting: Hungary, Anatolia, the Levant, Babylon; early 15th century.
The tremendous response to Tamburlaine the Great, Part One, led the author to quickly whip out a Part Two, which gave the audience pretty much more of what it saw in Part One. An interesting feature of Part Two is Marlowe’s generous use of exotic place names, which he borrowed extensively from Abraham Ortelius’ collection of 16th century maps. We have prepared our own maps of Africa, Europe and Western Asia, containing all the geographic names in the play, which you may wish to print out and follow along as you read Part Two.
Our Story: Now the Emperor of Persia, Egypt and North Africa, Tamburlaine must again prepare to fight the resurgent Ottoman army. In the meantime, Tamburlaine’s wife is dying, and the conqueror must also deal with raising two sons who want to be warriors like their dear old dad, and one who, well, does not.
Download and Read Tamburlaine the Great, Part Two:
Annotated Edition, pdf
Annotated Edition, text file
Play Alone, text file
Still-Familiar Words and Phrases that Appeared in English Literature for the First Time
in Tamburlaine, Part Two (according to the OED):
metaphysical (meaning supernatural)
naturalized (as an adjective: e.g. “a naturalized citizen”)
quill (applied to the spines of a porcupine or hedgehog)
unrelenting (as an adjective)