Monday, February 16, 2009

Tamburlaine The Great - Part One

Upon finishing the play I must admit my opinion of Zenocrate has not changed. I did begin to worry a little when she first admitted to Agydas that her passion for the villain had grown into what sounded a bit like love. I thought that her love for Tamburlaine might cloud her vision and that her opinion could no longer be trusted. Of course it works out well since she voices her concerns about war and death despite the fact that she is in love. Although she does not tell Tamburlaine how she feels about his conquests she does allow the reader to know how she truly feels. In Act five she says, "Those that are proud of fickle empery / And place their chiefest good in earthly pomp / Behold the Turk and his great emperess! / Ah, Tamburlaine, my love, sweet Tamburlaine / That fights for scepters and for slippery crowns / Behold the Turk and his great emperess!" (352). Although she still loves Tamburlaine, she is also capable of seeing what ruthless greed and the need for selfish gain can do to those who encounter it.
It does make me wonder though, if she is truly in love with the devilish Tamburlaine or if she is only trying to prolong her life by siding with the winner. It would certainly be to her benefit to play along as long as it was necessary, considering that women were viewed as extensions of the men to whom they belonged. In this case, as long as she can maintain the love of the man in charge she will certainly live a better life, not to mention a longer one.

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