Tamburlaine the Great Questions and Answers
by Christopher Marlowe

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What was the downfall in Tamburlaine the Great?

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Christopher Marlowe’s tragedy Tamburlaine the Great was written in two parts around 1587 or 1588. The play is based on the life of Timur, also known as Amir Timur and Tamerlane, the founder of the Timurid Empire, in and around what is now Iran and Central Asia.

Once a shepherd and bandit, Tamburlaine rose far above his lowly state in life to become the Emperor of Persia, the Emperor or Turkey, and the Emperor of Africa. Tamburlaine was called "The Scourge of God' for his ruthlessness and brutality. By the time of his death, Tamburlaine was well on his way to becoming the emperor of the world.

Certainly Tamburlaine was ambitious, and his greatest flaw—like that of many Greek and Elizabethan tragic heroes—was his excessive pride.

Tamburlaine claimed that the gods blessed his conquests:

TAMBURLAINE: And so mistake you not a whit, my lord;

For fates and oracles of heaven have sworn

To royalize the deeds of Tamburlaine,

And make them blest that share in his attempts . . .

He was convinced of his...

(The entire section contains 610 words.)

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