Expanded footnotes designed to help readers from all levels of familiarity with Elizabethan drama. Emphasis on the play as a theatre text - informative stage-directions. Stimulating introduction, which makes something of a break from the orthodox style .
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J. S. Cunningham is Emeritus Professor of English Literature from Leicester University
Eithne Henson is a retired Lecturer of English Literature.
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
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