David Fuller and Edward J. Esche (eds), The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 5: Tamburlaine the Great, Parts 1 and 2, and The Massacre at Paris with the Death of the Duke of Guise

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Actus. 2. Scæna. 6.

Critical Apparatus[Enter] cosroe, meander, ortygius, menaphon, with other Souldiers.

cosroe. What means this divelish shepheard to aspire

pg 31

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus2With such a Giantly presumption:

Editor’s Note3To cast up hils against the face of heaven:

4And dare the force of angrie Jupiter.

5But as he thrust them underneath the hils,

6And prest out fire from their burning jawes:

7So will I send this monstrous slave to hell,

8Where flames shall ever feed upon his soule.


meander. Some powers divine, or els infernall, mixt

Editor’s Note10Their angry seeds at his conception:

11For he was never sprong of humaine race,

Editor’s Note12Since with the spirit of his fearefull pride,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus13He dares so doubtlesly resolve of rule,

Editor’s Note14And by profession be ambitious.


ortygius. What God or Feend, or spirit of the earth,

16Or Monster turned to a manly shape,

Editor’s Note17Or of what mould or mettel he be made,

18What star or state soever governe him,

Editor’s Note19Let us put on our meet incountring mindes,

20And in detesting such a divelish Thiefe,

Critical Apparatus21In love of honor and defence of right,

22Be arm'd against the hate of such a foe,

23Whether from earth, or hell, or heaven he grow.


cosroe. Nobly resolv'd, my good Ortygius.

Editor’s Note25And since we all have suckt one wholsome aire,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus26And with the same proportion of Elements

Editor’s Note27Resolve, I hope we are resembled,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus28Vowing our loves to equall death and life.

Editor’s Note29Let's cheere our souldiers to incounter him,

Critical Apparatus30That grievous image of ingratitude:

Critical Apparatus31That fiery thirster after Soveraigntie:

32And burne him in the fury of that flame,

Editor’s Note33That none can quence but blood and Emperie.

34Resolve my Lords and loving souldiers now,

Editor’s Note35To save your King and country from decay:

36Then strike up Drum, and all the Starres that make

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus37The loathsome Circle of his dated life,

38Direct my weapon to his barbarous heart,

pg 32

39That thus opposeth him against the Gods,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus40And scornes the Powers that governe Persea.

[Drums. Exeunt.]

Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
0sd1 Enter] Robinson; not in O1.
Critical Apparatus
2 presumption:] ~.
Editor’s Note
2 Giantly] giantlike (OED A).
Editor’s Note
3-6 To cast … jawes] The giants (sons of Uranus and Gea) attacked heaven, but were repelled by Jupiter who crushed them with Mount Pelion (Metamorphoses, I. 151-62). Line 6 with its apparent reference to volcanoes suggests that, like some classical writers, Marlowe confounds the giants with the Titans (whom Jupiter overthrew and buried beneath Tartarus), or with some other gigantic figures of classical myth such as Typhoeus or Enceladus, both buried by Jupiter under Mount Aetna. The story of Typhoeus is told in Metamorphoses, V. 315 ff.
Editor’s Note
10 conception] Pronounced as four syllables.
Editor’s Note
12 fearefull] to be feared (OED 1.a).
Critical Apparatus
13 rule,] ~.
Editor’s Note
13 doubtlesly] certainly: the only meaning given by OED, but the word could perhaps also mean 'fearlessly' (cf. OED, doubtless, adj. A).
resolve of rule] determine to achieve power (OED, resolve, v. 23.c, first cited use).
Editor’s Note
14 by profession] professedly, avowedly (OED 4.a).
ambitious] Pronouced as four syllables.
Editor’s Note
17 mettel] temperament (OED, mettle, 1); but ll. 15-16 also suggest OED, metal (of which 'mettel' is a possible sixteenth-century spelling), 8, substance. 'Metal' could also carry a figurative meaning (OED 1.f), the 'stuff' of which a man is made.
Editor’s Note
19 meet … mindes] 'a proper frame of mind for facing the challenge' (Jump); meet, suitable (for the purpose expressed) (OED a. 3); incountring, that encounters (OED ppl. a., first cited use).
Editor’s Note
25 suckt] drawn into the mouth, breathed (OED v. 6).
Critical Apparatus
26 Elements‸] ~,
Editor’s Note
26-7 with … Resolve] 'are to decompose at death into the same proportions of earth, water, air, and fire' (Jump); on 'resolve' cf. 1.1.118n., and on the elements 1.2.236 (a line also concerned with dissolution at death) and n.
Editor’s Note
27 resembled] made like (one another) (OED, resemble, v.1 4, citing this example); pronounced as four syllables ('re-sem-ble-ed').
Critical Apparatus
28 life.] ~,
Editor’s Note
28 Vowing … life] pledging to be true to each other whether we live or die.
Editor’s Note
29 incounter] confront in battle (OED v. 1).
Critical Apparatus
30 ingratitude] ingratude
Critical Apparatus
31 Soveraigntie] Soveraingtie
Editor’s Note
33 quence] obsolete form of 'quench' (cf. Two, 2.3.24).
Emperie] absolute power (OED sb. 1.b): only violence and power can slake Tamburlaine's aspirations ('that flame'). Denied these satisfactions, they will recoil destructively on themselves.
Editor’s Note
35 decay] destruction, ruin (OED sb. 1.b).
Critical Apparatus
37 his] conj. Collier; my O1.
Editor’s Note
37 Circle … life] the completed course of time in which he is destined to live (OED, circle, sb. 17.a; dated, ppl.a. 2, citing this as the earliest use).
his] All editors retain O1's 'my', explaining it variously: 'Cosroe … has reason to feel weary of his life' (Ellis-Fermor—though she admits 'the sentiment is a little unexpected'); 'Cosroe's defeatism … reflects his conviction that Tamburlaine is invincible' (J. S. Cunningham). But Cosroe has, up to this point, expressed no such feeling and no such conviction, and no audience could understand so complete and sudden a change of psychological direction from just one word the supposed sense of which is immediately contradicted by the resolution of the following lines. Collier's conjectural 'his' is consistent with everything else Cosroe says, and the compositorial mistake it assumes is one easy to make, with both 'my' and 'his' in the following line.
Critical Apparatus
40sd Drums] this edn.; not in O1.
Exeunt] Oxberry; not in O1.
Editor’s Note
40 Persea] Cf. 1.1.162n.
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