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Tamburlaine The Great
by Christopher Marlowe
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Tamburlaine the Great achieved, and sustained, great success on the Elizabethan stage. And it speaks provocatively to our own time, when it has been the subject of numerous major productions. Timur Khan--to give Tamburlaine his original name--was long perceived in the West as a ruthless conqueror, whose career was marked by vindictive massacres, the sacking of enemy cities and the assertion of egotistic will. In this light, his career connects with twentieth-century experience of genocide, ideological justifications of brutality and conflicts of rival religions’ faiths. It is significant that the 1990s--four centuries on from Marlowe’s play--have seen the development in Uzbekistan, of a vindication of Timur, perceived as a heroic and admirable figure in this state newly "liberated" from the Soviet hegemony.
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