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Zenocrate's power, the "remorse of conscience," and Tamburlaine's Ovidian impotence in 1 and 2 Tamburlaine.

"Kings, but the conscience, all things can defend" (1)

Why is "divine Zenocrate" Tamburlaine's favorite epithet for his beloved? (2) Derived from the Ancient Greek words Zeno or Znvo-, a combining form of Zeuc, meaning God, and kratos or [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], meaning power, Zenocrate means the power of God or divine power. Although Tamburlaine perceptively identifies her as "divine," "power" seems out of place. Recent scholarship has associated Zenocrate with "impotence," (3) "passivity and silence." (4) Some feel Zenocrate acquiesces to Tamburlaine's barbarity, (5) while others suggest that she masochistically desires being "subjected to the cruel tyrant." (6) Indeed, her name could sarcastically indicate that Tamburlaine subdues even the power of God. She seems powerless when kidnapped, complaining, "I must be pleasde perforce, wretched Zenocrate" (1Tam, 1.2.258-59). Although she seems unwilling to aid Tamburlaine, she is foundational to the power he later wields. Facing "ods too great ... to stand against" when Theridamas leads "a thousand horsemen" against his "five hundred foote," Tamburlaine turns to her literal and figurative wealth (120-22). After flattering Theridamas, he flaunts Zenocrate's jewels to show that "Jove himselfe"--that is, God--"raines down heaps of gold in showers," while claiming that God sends Zenocrate "as a sure and grounded argument / That [Tamburlaine] shall be the Monark of the East" (180-86). He convinces Theridamas because of Zenocrate's material wealth--she is "rich and brave"--and ability to build an empire by producing heirs as a "Queen and portly Emperesse" (186-87). (7) In other words, he persuaded him that God is on his side, and Zenocrate's name ironically supports that claim.

Tamburlaine's desperate rhetoric thus has an ironic basis in Zenocrate's name: he does possess divine power, having stolen it and upended the divine right of kingship. If he failed to win over Theridamas, Tamburlaine would have been helpless against future foes. The captive Zenocrate contributes mightily to his success. Zenocrate's character changes over the course of the play, though, and her name is not only ironic. The fragility of the notion that her name is solely ironic will become apparent over the course of this article. She consents to her marriage and assumes an influence over Tamburlaine no other character possesses.

This influence has escaped critical observation. Scholars have mainly concluded, with M. L. Stapleton, that Zenocrate does not ameliorate Tamburlaine's "barbarism in any significant way." (8) Yet, Zenocrate does change Tamburlaine's behavior in one significant way. She forces him to spare her father, the Soldan of Egypt, after he swore the Soldan would die if he fought Tamburlaine. She does this by awakening in Tamburlaine something so foreign to him that he struggles to identify it, his "remorse of conscience," to use Calyphas's phrase (2T am, 4.1.28). Zenocrate's power thus merits reappraisal, especially since the full meaning of her name has never been factored into scholarly analysis, which has led scholars to overlook the full extent of her agency. She exercises a moral power over Tamburlaine, forcing him to feel what no martial tyrant should feel, pity. (9) This contravenes the dominant scholarly opinion that Tamburlaine has "no moral restraint," to quote Stephen Greenblatt. (10)

Although she somehow obliges Tamburlaine to feel pity, Zenocrate does not possess absolute power. The Tamburlaine plays support readings that mock Zenocrate and that take her seriously, and their treatment of her is seriocomic, a spoudaiogeloion. Any revaluation of Zenocrate also modifies scholarly perceptions of Tamburlaine, who is satirized when he feels that Zenocrate has made him uncharacteristically vulnerable. This article alters the scholarly conversation on Zenocrate and Tamburlaine's relationship, and so changes how the plays themselves are interpreted. It also highlights specific scholarly debates in which this fuller understanding of Zenocrate's name can intervene, such as religion, censorship, allegory, kingship, and the centrality of the Elegies to Marlowe's poetic project.

To better understand Zenocrate's name, we must know what the power of God meant to Tamburlaine, the audiences that packed the theaters to see Marlowe's plays, and Marlowe himself. Tamburlaine believes he is the power of God, or the "Scourge and Wrath of God" (1Tam, 3.3.45). This title describes someone chosen by God to punish sinners for a brief time and be destroyed by God thereafter. (11) Yet, the virgins who beg Tamburlaine to stop invading Damascus did nothing wrong. Their deaths cannot be attributed to divine vengeance. Tamburlaine's self-presentation as Scourge amounts to a whitewashing of bloodthirsty tendencies that are somehow curtailed by Zenocrate, the closest thing to divine power in Tamburlaine's universe.

Those who watched Tamburlaine understood the power of God within a Christian framework. Romans 1:16 explains that "the Gospel of Christ ... is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Grecian." (12) In the absence of priestly mediation in post-Reformation England, the gospels or word of God assumed a greater force among Protestants as a means toward salvation. As a consequence, Protestants viewed it as the primary mechanism for spurring the conscience into action. Benjamin Kaplan notes that in the early modern period the conscience was not "an independent judge of right and wrong, as we think of it today, but a slate upon which God wrote his law. One could not violate that law without violating one's own conscience." (13) God's law found expression in the gospels, which were seen as a divine force obliging the conscience to function.

In Discourse of Conscience (1596), William Perkins affirms that "gods [sic] word ... binds the consciences of all men at all times." (14) Perkins's views resonated with many among the faithful in Elizabethan England, (15) as did this article's epigraph, "Kings, but the conscience, all things can defend," which comes from John Bodenham's Bel-vedere, a storehouse of Elizabethan conventional wisdom. (16) This commonplace presents the conscience as a constraining power that cannot be opposed by even the most potent human--even Tamburlaine. Perkins writes that the word of God "binds" the consciences "euen of blind and ignorant persons that neither knowe the most of it nor care to know it." (17) Far removed from European culture and reveling in war, Tamburlaine lacks any interest in the rhythms of his conscience and struggles to identify what it feels like. Zenocrate, though, pushes Tamburlaine to apprehend remorse. This does not mean she allegorically figures the word of God. Rather, she is a force for good in Tamburlaine's life whose role in the play has its roots in Christian doctrine.

Although Perkins voiced the common perception of the conscience, Marlowe was not directly influenced by him. Instead, Marlowe got the idea to endow Tamburlaine with unaccustomed feelings of remorse from a surprising source, his translations of Ovid's Amores (c. 19 BCE). As Stapleton has cogently argued in his study of the Ovidian strata supporting Marlowe's dramatic work, the Elegies suffuse Marlovian drama with themes and preoccupations found in his translations of Ovid. (18) It may seem counterintuitive to think that the Amores, elegies about a remorseless and abusive philanderer, could have given Marlowe ideas for Tamburlaine's remorse. But Marlowe's translations, through error and his own creative judgment, were not always faithful to the Amores. (19) In fact, mistranslations in the infamous impotence elegy laid the groundwork for Marlowe's portrayal of a Tamburlaine impotent to defend against the remorse of conscience brought on by Zenocrate.

Tamburlaine's weakness before Zenocrate begins when he spies on her. (20) After employing scouts to defeat Mycetes (1Tam, 1.2.111, 2.3.49 - 50), Tamburlaine transfers his military surveillance tactics to an amorous context to determine if Zenocrate truly loves him. It was hard to tell how she felt when he kidnapped her. (21) To marry Zenocrate, Tamburlaine needs her consent, which cannot be forced. Katharine Maus notes that this need makes Tamburlaine "uncharacteristically vulnerable." (22) The source of the vulnerability is his desire to obtain honor by marrying a royal bride. (23) From the start, he betrays an obsession with honor, predicting that his "name and honour shall be spread / As far as Boreas claps his brazen wings" (1Tam, 1.2.200-1). He also coaxes Zenocrate and Agidas, "If you will willingly remaine with me / You shall have honors" (254-55). Honor is central to Tamburlaine's identity, and because of it, he refuses to spare the virgins, informing them in front of his soldiers, "in vaine ye labour to prevent / That which mine honor sweares shal be perform'd" (5.1.107-8). Without Zenocrate's consent, the low-born Tamburlaine could not ennoble himself through marriage.

So he sneaks onstage "with Techelles and others" to spy on her and Agidas (1 Tam, 3.2.24 s.d.). Unaware of his presence, Zenocrate affirms she wants to "live and die with Tamburlaine" (24, 37-39, emphasis in original). He then "goes to [Zenocrate], and takes her away lovingly by the hand" (65 s.d.). Tamburlaine employs the logic of surveillance here, which is that, if something is hidden, it must be true. To Tamburlaine, her consent is legitimate only when expressed in private. He unwittingly gives her power by doing this. Because he thinks she is telling the truth when he spies on her, everything she says in private becomes irrefutable. (24) Zenocrate also stains her cheeks with "tears" because she fears she is unworthy of "his love" (65). Tears also add rhetorical force to her words.

Marlowe has an ulterior motive for this surveillance: to show the audience that her love for Tamburlaine is authentic. Previously betrothed to Arabia, Zenocrate never admitted to loving him. This scene proves to those spying on Zenocrate behind die fourth wall that Zenocrate is not "fickle": her actions are grounded in sincere love for Tamburlaine, not in faithless inconstancy. (25)

Monitoring female desire seems to institute a gendered power dynamic in which Tamburlaine gains control over Zenocrate through a surveillant masculinity. However, this hierarchy is unstable. Tamburlaine cannot control Zenocrate's consent, and he is nervous about how she feels throughout / Tamburlaine. He doubts Zenocrate's love again after she privately requests that Tamburlaine "have some pitie for [her] sake" and keep her father from "perish[ing] by" Tamburlaine's sword (1 Tam, 4.2.124--25). He responds, "Not for the world Zenocrate" (126). Nonetheless, he knows that she possesses an authentic concern for her father's life since she expressed that concern in private, and Tamburlaine's new knowledge will weigh on his mind later in the play. When she later asks publicly that Tamburlaine "take a friendly truce" with her father, he reiterates that her father and his followers "shall be safe" only if "with their lives they will be pleasde to yeeld, / Or ... make [Tamburlaine] Emperour" (4.4.187-90).

Although this seems the peak of his unconscionable callousness, Tamburlaine later appears onstage "all in blacke and verie melancholy" (5.1.63 s.d.). He is not of a melancholic disposition. His gloominess is not caused by humoral imbalance but results from his "afflicted conscience," which, as Timothy Bright defines it in his Treatise of Melancholy (1586), was often mistaken for melancholy. (26) Tamburlaine is troubled by the recent killing of the four virgins and by Zenocrate's desire to see her father live. Tamburlaine unexpectedly calls the sight of the virgins' "slaughtered carcases" "A sight as banefull to [the soldiers'] soules I think / As are Thessalian drugs or Midiradate" (69-70). Tamburlaine conjectures that the memory gnaws at the soldiers' "soules"--or consciences--like a poison, or "Mithradate." This contrasts with his earlier behavior toward the "turtles" when they begged him to spare the city (64). The play explicitly presents that decision as a show of remorselessness. The Governor of Damascus rationalizes sending the four virgins by saying that he hopes they "Will melt his furie into some remorse" (22). Tamburlaine's capacity for remorse thus appears to be nonexistent. But there is a change after the fact, as indicated by his melancholy behavior and his uncertain tone in "I think," which contrasts with his ceaseless, confident vaunts earlier in 1 Tamburlaine.

Marlowe's recollection of Ovid becomes strikingly apparent in this scene. Tamburlaine's "Thessalian drugs" refers to Amores 3.6 (3.7 in modern editions), the elegy wherein the persona's penis becomes flaccid before intercourse, "ueluti gelida mea membra acuta / segnia propositum destituere meurn" (It mocked me, hung down the head and suncke). (27) Seeking to understand the cause, he wonders if he was the victim of some "ueneno," or drug/charm, "Num mea Thessalico languent deuota ueneno / corpora". (Amores, 3.7.27 -8) (What, wast my limbs through some Thesalian charms?, AOE, 3.6.27). Tamburlaine's echo of "Thesalian charms" evokes the remorse that Marlowe invests in his persona in the Elegies.

In Ovid the "Thessalico ... ueneno" does not relate to the conscience, but is exclusively physical. The Marlovian speaker, though, is concerned with his soul, "May spells and drugs do silly souls such harms?" (AOE, 3.6.28). This departs drastically from the original Latin, "Num misero carmen et herba nocent" (3.7.28), which does not mention "silly souls." Another discrepancy exists as to what caused the detumescence. While in Ovid the origin is bodily, Marlowe imputes to the persona a "shame" or remorse that is rooted in a different cause,
   hue pudor accessit: facti pudor ipse nocebat;
   tile fuit uitii causa secunda mei" (3.7.37-38)

   (To this ad shame: shame to performe it quaild me,
   And was the second cause why vigour failde me, 3.7.37-38).


"Facti pudor" means shame aroused by the fact of the flaccidity. But in Marlowe the shame arises from the persona contemplating that he will "performe it," or commit adultery. Likewise, "causa secunda" means a subsequent cause of shame, as in the shame following the detumescence. Because he changed "facti pudor" to a shame related to the remorse brought on by doing something immoral, Marlowe treats "causa secunda" as a simultaneous cause that supplements the drug and operates on the mind. (28) In the Elegies the shame moves from a physical to a spiritual cause.

In keeping with his unique concern for the persona's spiritual health, Marlowe translates "forsitan inpatiens fit latus inde meum" (3.7.36) as "And I grow faint as with some spirit haunted" (3.6.36). Literally translated, the phrase reads, "thence, perhaps, my flank became senseless," meaning the narrator guesses a drug caused his flaccidity. Although Marlowe does not specify what the "spirit" is, he clarifies in the following lines that it activates his "shame to performe it." Could this "spirit" be a force that awakens the Marlovian persona's conscience? Within the context of the poem, "haunted" suggests that the "spirit" is a demonic, malignant force. Then again, the conscience was tasked with observing and censuring all bad behavior. The afflicted conscience was liable to breed "false conceits of apparitions" and "frightfull dreames," or to create mental images that "haunted" those who felt remorse." (29)

This elegy was on Marlowe's mind when writing Tamburlaine's soliloquy, as the echo of "Thesalian charms" demonstrates. Marlowe transfers his persona's focus on the spiritual consequences of philandering to Tamburlaine's newfound focus on his soldiers' "soules." His melancholic mood can be attributed to a sense of remorse for ordering the killing of innocents. Yet, there is a "causa secunda" here. Just as the sight of the dead virgins drained his soldiers of their metaphorical martial "vigour," another sight contributes to Tamburlaine's own depleted "vigour," the sight of Zenocrate crying.

Tamburlaine waits until he is alone to reveal he has been upset by seeing Zenocrate cry again (1 Tam, 5.1.135-43). He thinks he can speak freely since unaccompanied, but exposes more than he would care to admit. His anxiety has two sources. On the one hand, Tamburlaine fears Zenocrate may not consent to their union now, jeopardizing his honor. On the other, he seems genuinely concerned, so much so that he uncharacteristically considers giving in to her demand to spare her father after he asserted he would spare no one and would not "buy [her] Fathers love / With such a losse" (4.4.83-84). Acquiescing to Zenocrate is a defeat, or "foile," for Tamburlaine. When alone he admits that "neither Perseans Soveraign, nor the Turk / Troubled my sences with conceit of foile, / So much by much, as dooth Zenocrate" (5.1.157-59). His contemplation of defeat recalls the commonplace from Bel-vedere, "Kings, but the conscience, all things can defend." Zenocrate possesses a power that not even the mightiest armies of Asia had. Tamburlaine admits that her "sorrowes lay more siege unto my soule / Than all my Army to Damascus walles" (155-56). His reflection on his soldiers' "soules" and afflicted consciences becomes a worry over his own "soule" and conscience.

To be clear, Tamburlaine fears not that he is in love, which he admits to Techelles when he meets Zenocrate, "this is she with whom I am in love" (/Tarn, 1.2.108). What he does fear is letting Zenocrate make him look weak and letting her "change [his] Martiall observations" (5.1.122). (30) After commanding the four virgins be killed, he claims publicly that he will not deviate from his plan to attack Damascus and kill Zenocrate's father even "for the love of Venus" (124). During the soliloquy, though, Zenocrate has gotten inside his head, where "Angels in their christal armours fight / A doubtfull battell with [his] tempted thoughtes / For Egypts freedom and the Souldans life" (151-53). In Marlowe's time "tempted" could mean "tempted to do evil." (31) Living outside of a Christian context, Tamburlaine has no concept of sin and cannot articulate feelings of remorse, but he still recognizes that his "thoughtes" are "tempted" and unmoral, thanks to Zenocrate.

Stapleton has written that in the Elegies Marlowe yokes Ovid's troubled and volatile persona "to the psychomachia paradigm of late medieval morality plays, replete with angelus bonus and angelus malus that ... comprise an abstraction of the soul troubled by its warring conscience." (32) Although Stapleton does not apply this model to Tamburlaine's soliloquy, it is appropriate. Tamburlaine's "doubtfull battell" occurs in his "soule," where "Angels in their christal armours" fight against his immoral, "tempted" thoughts. These "Angels" recall the "angelus bonus and angelus malus" those figures for the conscience in early English drama. (33) Tamburlaine's "soule" is losing his battle with a "warring conscience."

For Tamburlaine, contemplating defeat is defeat. It signifies a lack of manliness, amounting to "thoughts effeminate and faint" (1Tam, 5.1.180-82). The Ovidian subtext from Amores 3.6 continues to contribute to Tamburlaine's fear of emasculation throughout this soliloquy. Ovid's persona blames a "sagd' or witch for his impotence, "sagaue poenicea defixit nomina cera / et medium tenuis in iecur egit acus?" (29-30). In the commentary Marlowe used, Dominicus Niger writes that a saga is an "incantatrix & malefica, quae carminibus uel arcessere posuit mala hominibus, uel pellere" (a malevolent enchantress who can with songs derive evil potions to use against men or who can affect their minds). (34) Marlowe incorporates this misogyny, describing the persona as "witch'd with blood of frogs new dead," (AOE, 3.6.79) which loosely translates Ovid's "Aeaea uenefica' or Circean potion (Amores, 3.7.79). Niger's "pellere" extends the influence of the charm/drug to the spiritual realm. Just as in the Elegies the persona's body and mind are affected, in Tamburlaine Zenocrate is able to "'pellere" or compel Tamburlaine's thoughts, although she is no saga or Circe. Echoing the Elegies, Tamburlaine's newfound remorse and impotence against it trace back to a feminine source.

Striving to project his feelings of weakness onto others, Tamburlaine turns toward an easy target: poets. However, he unwittingly appropriates the language of the effeminate lover-poet when trying to change the subject:
   What is beauty, saith my sufferings then?
   If all the pens that ever poets held
   Had fed the feeling of their maisters thoughts,
   And every sweetnes that inspir'd their harts,
   Their minds, and muses on admyred theames;
   If all the heavenly Quintessence they still
   From their immortal! flowers of Poesy,
   Wherein, as in a myrrour, we perceive
   The highest reaches of a humaine wit;
   If these had made one Poems period,
   And all combin'd in Beauties worthinesse,
   Yet should ther hover in their restlesse heads
   One thought, one grace, one woonder, at the least,
   Which into words no vertue can digest. (1 Tam, 5.1.160-73)


Alexander Leggatt comments on these strange words, "We are used to thinking of Tamburlaine as acting, not suffering." (35) The form of the fourteen lines is also unfamiliar. They comprise a Marlovian quasi-sonnet, rounded out with a concluding couplet, least being pronounced like lest in Elizabethan English. (36) In his play, whose "high astounding tearmes" are defined by their lack of and disdain for "jygging" rhymes, Tamburlaine becomes an effeminized, "riming mother wit" (prologue. 1-5). The play is designed to satirize him when he rhymes. He earlier employed a pointedly "jygging" rhyme upon meeting Zenocrate, rhyming "me / ... be / ... slaverie" (1.2.254-56). These words even rhyme with Zenocrate (ze-NO-kruh-tee). (37) Earlier in this soliloquy he rhymes "night" with "light" and "fight," deploying another triplet when he describes the "Angels" in his conscience forcing him to feel remorseful (5.1.149-51).

According to Roy Eriksen, Tamburlaine's foray into sonneteering "closely parallels and develops ideas presented by Petrarch" when the lover-poet laments the impossibility of describing the beauty of the unattainable Laura. (38) Marlowe ironizes Tamburlaine in the very form of these fourteen lines by putting an adaptation of Petrarch, the effeminate poet par excellence, into Tamburlaine's mouth. (39) Petrarch structured the Canzoniere (1374) around the inexpressibility topos, and Tamburlaine encounters a similar feeling of inadequacy because of Zenocrate's powerful hold on him. The Petrarchan lover's metaphorical impotence recalls the Ovidian persona's detumescence, and so Marlowe links the lover-poet in the Amores to both the Petrarchan lover-poet and the persona in the Elegies--and it is specifically at the moment when these poets are at their most enervated state. Marlowe satirizes Tamburlaine's manly ethos when Tamburlaine unwittingly refers to such "effeminate and faint" figures.

Interpretations of this fourteen-line quasi-sonnet generally read it as Tamburlaine's successful projection of his feelings of insecurity onto "poets" unrelated to him. Alan Shepard argues that this soliloquy holds "no hint of self-recrimination, no threat to [Tamburlaine's] masculinity." (40) Tamburlaine reasons that the "poets," even when reading "their immortall flowers of Poesy" like good humanistically trained versifiers, cannot use then hermeneutic "vertue" to "digest," or read, that "One thought, one grace, one woonder" that is beauty (5.1.72-73). (41) Tamburlaine's reading involves "vertue," that masculine power derived from the Latin for man, vir, and used in conquest. He sees the "poets" as failing in their quest for textual control since they cannot compose the perfect poem, while he subdues all in his path.

Yet, just because Tamburlaine contrasts himself with the poets does not mean that scholars should. Tamburlaine displays feelings of "self-recrimination" over his decisions to kill the virgins and Zenocrate's father. Furthermore, by having Tamburlaine echo the effeminate Ovidian and Petrarchan poet-lovers, Marlowe joins Tamburlaine to the feeble poets. There is also the matter of Tamburlaine's roving syntax. He jumps to the first person in "we perceive" when describing looking in the "myrrour" that is the "flowers of Poesy." This "we" demonstrates that he fails in excluding himself from the poets' impotence. (42) Mirrors were slippery symbols at the time, representing either flatten' or harsh truth. (43) In Tamburlaine's mind, Zenocrate flatteringly reflects his divine prowess. But, when he looks into this mirror, it is not the "flatt'ring-glass" he wants. He sees a woman who forces him to face his crippling remorse. (44) When he asserts that poets can never use their "vertue" to "digest" that "One thought, one grace, one wonder," Tamburlaine means no human "vertue." In this play another "vertue" exists, one that supersedes even Tamburlaine's. Zenocrate can also mean divine virtue. Her "vertue" is moral excellency and that "one grace" that was a divine power so central to Protestant thought. "Grace" was known to instigate the pangs of an afflicted conscience, and for Tamburlaine that "grace" is Zenocrate. (45) Like the poets failing to capture beauty, he cannot contain her with his verbal strength. She is that "woonder" that overpowers Tamburlaine's human "vertue," making his head feel "restlesse" with remorse.

At the end of this soliloquy Tamburlaine fails to resecure his masculinity. His claim, "Vertue solely is the sum of glorie, / And fashions men with true nobility" ironically renders "nobility" dependent "solely" on a "vertue" that he earlier acknowledged was ineffectual (5.1.189-90). His unusually convoluted syntax makes it unclear if virtue gives "men ... true nobility" or just "fashions," or presents the form of men who already have "true nobility." Noted for consistently deploying end-stopped lines, Tamburlaine also surprisingly enjambs "love" when he insists that every "warriour that is rapt with love / Of fame, of valour, and of victory / Must needs have beauty beat on his conceites" (180-82). (46) Tamburlaine is wrestling with that "One thought" that escapes metrical containment, the remorse his "love" Zenocrate has forced him to feel. These lines are often cited to demonstrate his reasserted masculinity, but "love" is Ins captor: he is "rapt." Beauty is an army laying siege to his mind, "beat[ing] on his conceits" like Zenocrate's "sorrowes" conquering his "soule."

Significantly, Tamburlaine concedes to Zenocrate and spares her father. Although he does not admit defeat to beauty, by comparing it to Zenocrate he implies that beauty ultimately conquers. The assertion that he "conceiv[ed] and subdue[ed]" the passion that "hath stoopt the topmost of the Gods, ... To feel the lovely warmth of Shepheards flames" is contradicted by his initial appearance onstage (183-87). Impelled by desire, Jove seized women when disguised. So did Tamburlaine, who "masked" himself as a shepherd, kidnapped Zenocrate, and professed his love. (47) Having also stooped to that amorous passion, he lies when reassuring himself that his masculinity has not been questioned. Again, scholars should not accept Tamburlaine at face value when interpreting this soliloquy. Even though no other characters are around, Tamburlaine still lies to and performs for himself. His masculinity is a performance, one that is undermined further when he spares the Soldan.

Marlowe lets Tamburlaine save face with his men, though. Fearful that Tamburlaine will kill Zenocrate's father, Theridamas interrupts the soliloquy asking that Tamburlaine "save die reverend Soldan's life / For fan Zenocrate that so laments his state." Relieved, Tamburlaine assents, noting that Zenocrate "Deserves a conquest over every hart" [1 Tam, 5.1.203-8). Exactly, "every hart" includes Tamburlaine's, as shown in the soliloquy wherein Tamburlaine complained he could not stop her from making him feel remorseful. Even as Theridamas gives him what every political leader needs--plausible deniability--Tamburlaine intimates that Zenocrate's divine power conquered his "hart." Yet he continues his warlike pose. Readers should see it as a pose: Marlowe does not endorse or agree with Tamburlaine but ironizes him in his soliloquy, having Tamburlaine fret about being "unseemly" as he transforms from warrior to effete worrier (174).

Before he spares her father, Zenocrate becomes disillusioned and feels "Wretched" when recounting the demise of her "Fathers ... countrimen" (1 Tam, 5.1.319-21). She feels "most accurst to see" the bodies of the four virgins (24). At this moment, she is anticipating that her father, too, will be killed, and she quickly changes from "wretched" to "joiful" when she sees her father alive, "O sight thrice welcome to my joiful soule / To see the King my Father issue safe / From dangerous battel of my conquering Love" (440-42). Zenocrate never asks Tamburlaine to spare the virgins. She does ask him to spare her father, and he complies, identifying the Soldan's "princely daughter" as the one who "set [the Soldan] free" and "hath calmde the furie of [Tamburlaine's] sword" (435-37). Tamburlaine gives Zenocrate "Egypts freedom," as she asked, telling the Soldan, "grieve not at your overthrow / Since I shall render all into your hands / And ad more strength to your dominions" (446-48).

The first part of Tamburlaine concludes with die crowning of "Divine Zenocrate" and only Zenocrate (507). Her coronation emphatically puts the "crate" in Zenocrate because the audience's final impression is her ascension to queenly sovereignty. Her perceived reticence when crowned suggests not disempowerment but empowerment, existence on a plane of being above Tamburlaine's ceaseless stream of rhetoric like that "one grace" that cannot be captured in language.48 Despite her coronation and lobbying to save her father, Zenocrate's powers remain limited. Upon hearing that her father is attacking Tamburlaine, Zenocrate becomes strangely confident that Tamburlaine will do as she hopes, invoking the precedent of Aeneas's war against Turnus:
   as the gods, to end the Trojans toyl
   ... fatally enriched Aeneas love,
   So ... To pacifie my countrie and my love,
   Must Tamburlaine by their resistless powers,
   With vertue of a gentle victorie,
   Conclude a league of honor to my hope.
   Then as the powers devine have preordained,
   With happy safety of my fathers life
   Send like defence of faire Arabia. (1 Tam, 5.1.395-402)


Immediately after this, Arabia stumbles onstage "wounded to the death" (407). Despite suggestively referring to the "gods" as "resistless powers" and "powers devine," a phrase that almost perfectly translates Zenocrate, she fails spectacularly in her belated effort to save Arabia. One could speculate that Tamburlaine was so vulnerable before battle that he would have spared Arabia if she had asked, but the fact remains that Marlowe structures the play to emphasize her powerlessness, manipulating events to highlight the limits of Zenocrate's divine strength. Dena Goldberg observes that the Tamburlaine plays continuously raise and dash hopes of divine intervention. (49) The disconnect between what Zenocrate says and what the audience sees intensifies the play's undermining of special providence and confounds Zenocrate, the one person who miraculously saved someone from Tamburlaine's wrath.

Even if Arabia is an afterthought, Zenocrate looks foolish. She invokes a narrative that famously ended when Aeneas murdered Turnus, and the narrative destiny of Arabia seems fatal even in the attempt to forestall his fate. This mocking portrayal encourages viewers and readers to approach Zenocrate in a seriocomic way. She both represents divine power and is subjected to the ridicule that comes to each character who calls on the gods to intervene when personally convenient. Marlowe shows that there is no power of God that can suddenly and arbitrarily alter the affairs of man. Her failure to save Arabia can either move audience members to Zabina's atheism or strengthen their resolve. Either way, it makes them reexamine their orientation to divinity by refusing to side with a particular character.

In true Ovidian fashion Marlowe remains detached and satirical, refraining from endorsing even Zenocrate, who is most worthy of endorsement. Neither does he endorse Tamburlaine since he satirizes him when he compares him to the Ovidian persona at his most impotent and to the helpless Petrarchan lover-poet. (50) Tamburlaine shows concern for Zenocrate each time he sees her crying. His eulogy for her in 2 Tamburlaine not only terms her "divine Zenocrate" but also recalls how she swayed his "soule" by instilling remorse: "Zenocrate that ... tempered every soule with lively heat" (2.4.8-10). Like a flame to wax, she alone was able to melt Tamburlaine's "furie into some remorse," and he evokes in this eulogy his words to her father, "she hath calmde the furie of my sword" (l Tam, 5.1.435-37). It is tempting to speculate that his fury's return at the end of 2 Tamburlaine is due to Zenocrate's absence. He kills his son, refuses to "pity" the Turkish concubines (4.3.83), and slaughters every inhabitant of Babylon (5.1.32).

Calyphas's murder alludes to Tamburlaine's soliloquy. Calyphas is the son closest to and most influenced by Zenocrate. Tamburlaine bemoans that he accompanies his "gracious mother" too often (2Tam, 1.3.167). Perhaps that is why Calyphas clearly articulates his feelings of remorse, "I know, sir, what it is to kil a man, / It works remorse of conscience in me" (4.1.27-28). Zenocrate instilled remorse in Calyphas, and he identifies it easily, while Tamburlaine, raised in the language of war, remained frustrated in his attempts to name his confusing feelings because he was never taught the vocabulary of remorse.

After killing Calyphas, he refuses to let a single "Souldier ... defile / His manly fingers with so faint a boy" by burying an "effeminate brat" (2Tam, 4.1.162-64). Tamburlaine uses the same words, "effeminate" and "faint," to designate his own feelings of remorse and impotence in his soliloquy, "But how unseemly it is for my Sex, /... My nature, and the terrour of my name / To harbour thoughts effeminate and faint" (1 Tam, 5.1.174-77). Marlowe connects effeminacy to conscience in Calyphas and Tamburlaine, even though Tamburlaine never heard Calyphas explain that he felt "remorse of conscience." It makes sense that the Ovidian Calyphas--for all his indulging in cards, drinking, and sex--is the play's conscientious objector. In keeping with the link between the impotent Ovidian persona and the "remorse of conscience," Calyphas has a conscience because of his Ovidianism.

This article only scratches the surface of significances that proliferate from the full meaning of Zenocrate's name. Many questions arise from this that cannot be explored here due to space constraints. For instance, does Zenocrate's name alter the discussion of the plays' treatment of religion? It may pave a via media between Goldberg's astute but restricted study of how the religious discourse in Tamburlaine mirrors "the assumptions that actually underpin the actions of ordinary people" and Lena Watkins's intriguing but overstated notions that "failures to enforce divine justice produce resounding doubts in God's or the gods' power," which lets "evil consistently triumph." (51) Marlowe's irreverence extends beyond ordinary people to the extraordinary Zenocrate, whose name indicates that Marlowe takes satiric aim at those like Zenocrate whose beliefs carry greater weight. Yet, while her name contributes to what Watkins calls "the skepticism of the Tamburlaine plays," I do not see the plays as endorsing the idea that "irreligion or unbelief [was] a viable worldview." (52) These plays challenge religious belief, but refuse to endorse any one worldview. Zenocrate's meaning may even impact that tired argument about Marlowe's supposed atheism. Questions also arise about kingship in these plays. Although Tamburlaine appears to disregard "the contemporary Elizabethan discourse of divinely endorsed rule" in his unorthodox pursuit of an "earthly crown," he does have divine sanction in the person of Zenocrate, who willingly marries him after he spared her father. (53) That a seemingly godless Scythian, a "base usurping vagabond" (1 Tam, 4.3.23), can gain divine approval satirizes the hereditary and Christian underpinnings of divine-right theories.

What does Zenocrate say about censorship? Marlowe felt compelled to encrypt the meaning of Zenocrate's name so deeply that it evaded the gaze of censors and critics until now. (54) Zenocrate is not the most blasphemous aspect of these plays, and the blasphemy in them is still a matter of critical controversy, which her name will nuance further. Never punctilious, Marlowe placed avoiding the censor's ire low on his priority list. Perhaps this encoding relates to allegorical writing, which was associated with Edmund Spenser and Sir Philip Sidney. (55) Perhaps the seriocomic treatment of Zenocrate gestures at Marlowe's satirical orientation toward general allegorical composition and interpretation. The sonority of Zenocrate suggests it over a baldly allegorical character named Godspower. It onomatopoetically buttresses her divine and mysterious nature by sounding alien and intriguing, and need not be allegorical at all since it fits with the overall aesthetic of these plays fascinated by foreign terms. Ovid was known for using allegorical figures and gently mocking them, and Marlowe may be accentuating that practice. Most importantly, this article demonstrates the significance of the Elegies in Marlowe's canon and their importance to our understanding of his works. Studies of Marlovian drama can only be bettered by gaining a greater understanding of the oft-neglected Elegies.

Zenocrate's name could signify that the power of God operates even within an uncivilized Scythian's troubled mind impotent against the force of remorse. It could also be marshaled in arguments about the impotence of divine intervention. Perhaps the real upshot is that the name forces readers to make interpretive decisions that reveal then own preconceptions, misconceptions, and biases toward divinity, interpretation, and the world they inhabit.

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(1.) John Bodenham, Bel-vedere; Or, The Garden of the Muses (London: Hugh Astley, 1600), 8 (sig. B4v).

(2.) Tamburlaine refers to her as "divine Zenocrate" at least nine times in both plays. See 1Tam, 4.4.28, 5.1.135, 5.1.506; and IT am, 2.4.21, 2.4.25, 2.4.29, 2.4.33, 2.4.111, and 3.2.27. Quotations from Tamburlaine the Great, Part 1 and Part 2 are from The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, ed. Fredson Bowers, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambodge UP, 2008), and are cited as 1Tam and 2Tam respectively.

(3.) Pam Whitfield discusses how Tamburlaine negates sexual desire, which renders Zenocrate voiceless and powerless in '"Divine Zenocrate,' Wretched Zenocrate': Female Speech and Disempowerment in Tamburlaine I," in Renaissance Papers 2000 (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2000), 87-98, 87-90.

(4.) Sara Munson Deats, Sex, Gender, and Desire in the Plays of Christopher Marlowe (Newark: U of Delaware P, 1997), 148.

(5.) Joanna Gibbs, "Marlowe's Politic Women," in Constructing Christopher Marlowe, ed. J. T. Parnell and J. A. Downie (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000), 164-76, 164.

(6.) Lisa Starks, ""Won with thy words and conquered with thy looks': Sadism, Masochism, and the Masochistic Gaze in 1 Tamburlaine," in Marlowe, History, and Sexuality: New Critical Essays on Christopher Marlowe, ed. Paul Whitfield White (New York: AMS, 1998), 179-94,185.

(7.) Zenocrate's virginity reinforces her divine power. In late-medieval and Renaissance England, chastity had the power to "transcend the corporeal," mediating between human and divine. Her power in 2 Tamburlaine lies in her maternity: she has produced the heirs that Tamburlaine needs but cannot create independently. See R. H. Bloch, "Chaucer's Maiden Head: 'The Physician's Tale' and the Poetics of Virginity," Representations 28 [1989]: 113-34, 115, 120.

(8.) M. L. Stapleton, Marlowe's Ovid: The 'Elegies" in the Marlowe Canon (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2014), 74.

(9.) Pace Roy Battenhouse, who argues that Tamburlaine is the voice of morality while Zenocrate is "devoid of religion or conscience" in Marlowe's "Tamburlaine": A Study in Renaissance Moral Philosophy (Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 1941), 167. Mistaking pity for humility and overlooking the meaning of her name, Roger Moore asserts that Zenocrate is "intimately connected to the earth and its inhabitants," not associated with divinity and power in "The Spirit and the Letter: Tamburlaine and Elizabethan Religious Radicalism," Studies in Philology 99.2 (2002): 123-51,134.

(10.) Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (New York: Norton, 2010), 190.

(11.) On the scourge of God, see Roy Battenhouse, "Tamburlaine, the 'Scourge of God,'" PMLA 56.2 (1941): 337-48, 337. In keeping with his argument that Tamburlaine is a moral warrior, Battenhouse agrees with Tamburlaine.

(12.) The Geneva Bible: A Facsimile of the 1560 Edition, ed. Lloyd Berry and William Whittingham (Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1969), SS2v.

(13.) Benjamin Kaplan, Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2010), 27.

(14.) William Perkins, A Discourse of Conscience (Cambridge: John Legate, 1596), A2v.

(15.) For an account of Perkins's life that has been foundational to later biographies, see Thomas Fuller, The Holy State (Cambridge: Roger Daniel, 1642), M8v.

(16.) Bodenham, Bel-vedere, B5r.

(17.) Perkins, A Discourse of Conscience, A2v.

(18.) For Stapleton's "literary archaeology," see Marlowe's Ovid, 7-34.

(19.) Roma Gill energetically enumerated his mistranslations in "Snakes Leap by Verse," in Christopher Marlowe, ed. Brian Morris (New York: Hill and Wang, 1969), 133-50, and she called the Elegies juvenile translations that suffer from Marlowe's inept attempts to make the lines rhyme in "Marlowe and the Art of Translation," in "A Poet and a Filthy Playmaker": New Essays on Christopher Marlowe, ed. Kenneth Friedenreich, Roma Gill, and Constance Kurivama (New York: AMS, 1988), 327-42. Gill's scholarship is rigorous, if excessive. No one denies that Marlowe made mistakes. Still, he was a sensitive and imaginative translator who created the first version of the Amores in any vernacular, which is remarkable. Since he was first, he had almost no guidance. The little guidance he had came from the Dominicus Niger commentary in the edition of the Amores he used when translating. Some translating errors can be attributed to Niger. See Lee Pearcy, "Marlowe, Dominicus Niger, and Ovid's Amores," Notes and Queries 27.4 (1980): 315-18.

(20.) Although Marlowe worked in the state spy apparatus in some unspecified capacity, that has little bearing on this analysis. On the evidence linking Marlowe to government spying, see "[Meeting] xxix Junij, 1587," in Acts of the Privy Council, ed. J. R. Dasent (London: HMSO, 1897), 6:146 (PC 2/14 f.382). For an insightful analysis of this, see Constance Kuriyama, Christopher Marlowe: A Renaissance Life (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2002), 70-73. For a study of Marlowe rooted in his state spying, see J. M. Archer, Sovereignty and Intelligence: Spying and Court Culture in the English Renaissance (Stanford, Stanford UP: 1993), 67-94. More speculative is Charles Nicholl, The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe (London: Jonathan Cape, 1992). For a compelling and long-overdue reassessment of such biographicist readings, see Lukas Erne, "Biography, Mythography, and Criticism: The Life and Works of Christopher Marlowe," Modern Philology 103.1 (2005): 28-50.

(21.) Mark Burnett sees the kidnapping as Tamburlaine's way of aestheticizing and colonizing her through language, "marking out the extent of his empire" on her body. Burnett also curiously argues that Tamburlaine places her in "an environment of frosty inaccessibility" in "Tamburlaine and the Body," Criticism 33.1 [1991]: 31-47,34. Marlowe, in fact, "never actually envisages the sexual conquest or possession of Zenocrate," writes C. L. Barber in "The Death of Zenocrate: 'Conceiving and Subduing Both' in Marlowe's Tamburlaine" Literature and Psycholog)' 16 (1966): 15-24, 18. Similarly, Jonathan Burton demonstrates how Marlowe distinguishes "the seduction of Zenocrate ... from coercion" in Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579-1624 (Newark: U of Delaware P, 2005), 86.

(22.) Katharine E. Maus, Inwardness and Theater in the English Renaissance (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995), 96.

(23.) On the Renaissance chivalric code of honor, see Giovanni Battista Possevino's wide-ranging Dialogo dell'honore (Venice: Francesco Sansovino, 1568), Pp2v-4r.

(24.) Zenocrate's agency flourishes in private and offstage. In "Tamburlaine's Domestic Threat." Performing Maternity in Early Modern England, ed. Kathryn M. Moncrief and Kathryn R. McPherson (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2007), 211-24, 212-14, Man' Stripling argues that Zenocrate's significant changes occur offstage: she transforms from a "silly maid" disdaining Tamburlaine to a sober-minded fiancee who truly loves him between acts 1 and 3 of 1 Tamburlaine, then into a torrent of dissent between acts 4 and 5, and finally into a mother in 2 Tamburlaine.

(25.) On "Zenocrate's inconstancy," see Battenhouse, "Tamburlaine": A Study, 191.

(26.) Timothy Bright, A Treatise of Melancholy (London: Thomas Vautrollier, 1586),Nlr. On the different ways early moderns distinguished between melancholy and afflicted conscience, see Man' Ann Lund, Melancholy, Medicine, and Religion in Early Modern England: Reading 'The Anatomy of Melancholy' (Cambridge: Cambodge UP, 2010), 53-57, 123-30.

(27.) Ovid, Amores (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1963), 3.7.13-14. Hereafter cited as Amores. Amores translations come from Marlowe's All Ovids Elegies (Middelburg [London], 1603), 3.6.13. Hereafter cited as AOE.

(28.) Marlowe might have gotten this misconception from Niger, who writes in his annotated edition of Ovid's works, "enim euenit, ut coeutibus pudor obstet, quo minuspenis anigatur." See Ovid, P. Ovidii N asonis Poetan Svlmonensis Opera Qyae l'ocantvr Amatoria, ed. and trans. Dominicus Niger (Basil: Jakob Micyllus, 1549), Yylv.

(29.) See Bright, Treatise of Melancholy, N2v. Well-known examples of a guilty conscience breeding ghosts in the mind occur in Shakespeare's Richard III (159i), Julius Caesar (1599), and Macbeth (1606), examples more relevant to Tamburlaine than to the persona.

(30.) Compare with Othello 2.1.74 for a similar moment in which a military leader's beloved potentially undermines his authority and honor.

(31.) Oxford English Dictionary Online, s.v. "tempted," accessed June 16, 2013, http: // www.oed.com/view/Entry/198973?redirectedFrom=tempted#eidl 8886879.

(32.) Stapleton, Marlowe's Ovid, 55.

(33.) Marlowe continues his fascination with such figures of the conscience in Doctor Faustas, 2.1.15-21,2.3.12-17.

(34.) Ovid, P. Ovidii Nason/s, Yylv, translation mine.

(35.) Alexander Leggatt, "Tamburlaine's Sufferings," The Yearbook of English Studies 3 (1973): 28-38, 28.

(36.) Paul Kocher, "A Marlowe Sonnet," Philological Quarterly 24 (1945): 39-45, 42n5. Compare with William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 55," in The Complete Sonnets and Poems (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002).

(37.) Tamburlaine also rhymes with Zenocrate in ZTam, 2.4.29-30, 36-37.

(38.) Roy Eriksen, "Marlowe's Petrarch: In Morte di Madonna Laura" Cahiers Elisabethains 29 (1986): 13-25, 19. The entire soliloquy evokes Petrarch's Sonnet 158. Eriksen also observes another Petrarchan echo in 2 Tamburlaine, in Zenocrate's deathbed scene, appropriately.

(39.) On Petrarch's reputation for effeminacy, see Mark Breitenberg, Anxious Masculinity in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996), 136.

(40.) Alan Shepard, "Endless Sacks: Soldiers' Desire in Tamburlaine," Renaissance Quarterly 46.4 (1993): 734-53, 745.

(41.) Distillation and digestive metaphors commonly described Renaissance reading habits. In his Defence of Poesy (1595), Philip Sidney praises readers who "devour [their books] whole ... by attentive translation," or digestion (The Major Works, ed. Katherine Duncan-Jones [Oxford: Clarendon, 2002], 246). Poetry was often gathered into books flores poetarum or, in Tamburlaine's words, "flowers of Poesy." Humanists instructed readers to emulate bees and gather from these "flores" select phrases that would be then transformed through digestion into new compositions. On distilling and digesting, see Adam Hooks, "Commonplace Books," The Encyclopedia of English Renaissance literature, ed. Alan Stewart and Garrett A. Sullivan (Maiden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 1:206-9.

(42.) Although he seemingly redirects his sense of inadequacy onto poets, he earlier promised "to trace" new "regions" with his "pen" or sword (1Tam, 4.4.74-76), using a metaphor that links him back to these impotent poets since his dying words are "shall I die and this unconquered?" (2 Tam, 5.3.150).

(43.) Although the mirror-metaphor in early modern England was deployed in complicated ways, scholars agree that it was widely used by authors to describe texts and that reading was imagined as looking in a mirror. See Herbert Grabes, The Mutable Glass: Minor-Imagery in the Titles and Texts of the Middle Ages and English Renaissance, trans. Gordon Collier (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1982), 4,30-37. On the "flatt'ring-glass," see Peter Urc, "The Looking-Glass of Richard II," Philological Quarterly 34.2 (1955), 219-25, 220n3. See also Janette Dillon, Shakespeare and the Solitary Man (Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1981), 70-73.

(44.) Although this soliloquy does not support the claims of scholars who endeavor to see Marlowe in Tamburlaine, it does suggest that there is an inherent tension between the creative impetus of "poets" and between the ethical imperative of "grace" and "wonder." Marlowe intimates that imagination struggles under the burden of conscience.

(45.) Perkins, Discourse, K3v.

(46.) Russ McDonald writes, "For all Marlowe's reputation as an overreacher, only rarely did he overreach the poetic line" in "Marlowe and Style," in The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe, ed. Patrick Cheney (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004), 55-69, 63.

(47.) Katherine Lever, "The Image of Man in Tamburlaine, Part J," Philological Quarterly 35 (1956): 421-28,422.

(48.) On the ways "Grace inescapably evades language," see Brian Cummings, Uterary Culture of the Reformation: Grammar and Grace (Oxford: Clarendon, 2007), 25-48.

(49.) Dena Goldberg, "Who's God's on First? Special Providence in the Plays of Christopher Marlowe," ELH 60.3 (1993): 569-87, 574, 584-85.

(50.) J. R. Mulryne and Stephen Fender note how Marlowe cultivates ambivalent reactions to Tamburlaine in "Marlowe and the 'Comic Distance,'" in Morris, Christopher Marlowe, 48-64,53. Johannes Birringer writes that in Tamburlaine's humiliation of Bajazeth (1Tam, 4.4), Marlowe presents "a near-parody of [Tamburlaine's] obsessive preoccupation" with conquest. See "Marlowe's Violent Stage: 'Mirrors' of Horror in Tamburlaine," ELH 51 (1984): 219-39, 230. One satirical moment Birringer overlooks occurs when Tamburlaine predicts, "The ages that shall talk of Tamburlain / Even from this day to Vlatoes wondrous yeare / Shall talke how I have handled Bajazeth" (4.4.94-96). Fie does not realize that such "talke" will not be positive and that he will be infamous, not glorified. In Uncommon Tongues: Eloquence and Eccentriaty in the English Renaissance (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2013), 142-45, Catherine Nicholson observes that Marlowe uses "self-conscious jokes" to connect his "literary innovation" to Tamburlaine's "imperial progress," but Nicholson overlooks the soliloquy in 1 Tarn 5.1 that ironically signals the weakness of poets and Tamburlaine when she argues that Marlowe reimagines "the fourteenth-century Scythian warlord as a late sixteenth-century English poet-conqueror" (142). Mary Floyd-Wilson writes that Tamburlaine's "plot centers on the ironic representation of an eloquent barbarian," which amounts to Marlowe's "clever joke," in English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern Drama (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003), 99. Stapleton connects the satire in Tamburlaine to the Amores in Marlowe's Ovid, 68.

(51.) Goldberg, "Who's God's on First?," 574-75. Leila Watkins, "Justice Is a Mirage: Failures of Religious Order in Marlowe's Tamburlaine Plays," Comparative Drama 46.2 (2012): 163-85, 165.

(52.) Watkins, "Justice Is a Mirage," 166.

(53.) C. K. Preedy, "(De)Valuing the Crown in Tamburlaine, Dido Queen of Carthage, and Edward II," SEL 54.2 (2014): 259-77, 267.

(54.) Marlowe's deep encryption may align with Annabel Patterson's idea that censorship was a precondition for the encoding of secret meaning in early modern English imaginative writing. See Censorship and Interpretation: The Conditions of Writing and Reading in Early Modern England, 2nd ed. (Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1990), 6-12, 63.

(55.) Reading the Tamburlaine plays as Marlowe's "attempt to overgo Spenser as England's new national poet," Patrick Cheney argues that Marlowe rewrites Spenser's priorities through "many documented borrowings from Spenser" and inversions of Spenserian preoccupations. See Marlowe's Counterfeit Profession: Ovid, Spenser, Counter-Nationhood (Toronto: U of Toronto Press, 1997), 121.
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Date:Jan 1, 2015
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