Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tamburlaine The Great - Part 1

Act One and Two
Although I haven't read far enough into the play to have formed a serious opinion, there are a few points that struck me as odd. To begin with Zenocrate, the central female character, is the only character within the first two acts of the play who does not seem to want to join Tamburlaine. Her decision to join Tamburlaine is more of a coerced decision, with slavery as her only other option. Of course who could turn down the chance to be this man's most prized possession. As he is trying to persuade her to join him, he tells her that she is of more "worth" to him "than the possession of the Persian crown" (90). She still isn't convinced and responds to his invitation to stay willingly or become his slave with the statement: "I must be pleased perforce. Wretched Zenocrate!" (259). I must say that I like her style.
Although Zenocrate doesn't speak at all throughout Act Two, I feel certain that her opinion and perspective will be of much value to the reader later in the play. She seems to be waiting patiently in the background for an opportunity to present itself. Of course I've learned to be patient myself and to not allow my hopes to get too high, because generally the female characters within literature from this period are not allowed to accomplish very much. After all, if Zenocrate were the hero the play would be entitled "Zenocrate The Great" (or maybe not!).

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