Theatre and Humanism: English Drama in the Sixteenth Century

By Kent Cartwright | Go to book overview

7
Bearing witness to Tamburlaine, Part 1

In Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine, Part 1, the hero succeeds by overcoming increasingly powerful opponents who refuse to grasp his inevitability and provenance. What resistance does the play overcome as a means to success in performance? Marlowe's piece apparently had the effect of conquest. According to Richard Levin, Elizabethan playgoers responded with wonder, conveyed in such language as “gapers, ” “gazing, ” “rauishes, ” “dead stroke, ” and “strike… dead with admiration. ” 1 Gaping, admiration, and ravishment occur elsewhere in descriptions of Renaissance drama, but they adhere to Tamburlaine insistently. Because not every Elizabethan stage warrior will strike spectators dead with admiration, the responses to Tamburlaine bespeak a certain transference, as if what Tamburlaine does to his opponents, the play does analogously to the audience. Part of the drama's originality lies there: Tamburlaine induces and then defeats audience resistance, as if Marlowe wills on his spectators the paradox of the vanquished Soldan: “And I am pleasde with this my overthrow” (I.i.482). 2

Criticism continues to turn on the question of whether Tamburlaine is repellent or admirable–or both. 3 Wishing to discredit Tamburlaine 's “hero ideology, ” political critics see the play as exposing the protagonist's imperialistic strategies and pronounce auditorial disaffection an appropriate response. 4 By contrast, theatricalcriticism tends to treat the spectator' engulfment by Tamburlaine as normative–as Levin's historical evidence suggests. 5 Engulfment can blur into approval, however, as the ideological critics fear, who are left insisting that “Though [Tamburlaine's] claims to divine sanction work on his onstage audiences, they should not work on us. ” 6 Both positions may make sense if we consider that Tamburlaine attempts to evoke the audience's admiration for its hero by deploying obstacles to credibility and moral

-194-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Theatre and Humanism: English Drama in the Sixteenth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 321

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.