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In so doing, it posits a spectacular basis to the marvellousness of the titular protagonist. Marlowe’s ‘tragic glass’ makes a second metaphorical appearance towards the end of Part One, neatly framing the narrative and pushing further a sense of Tamburlaine’s preternatural abilities. 475). 476–8). 461–2), phenomena which operate not only as analogies for Tamburlaine’s success, but also as prodigious occurrences of ‘monstrous’ extraction. The subtexts animating the Prologue are now elaborated in the suggestion that the mirror stages the ‘monstrous’.

Cosroe’s comment underscores the earlier construction of ‘Nature’ and its nonnormative generational capacities, but it functions this time to position Tamburlaine as the ‘monstrous’ type. Having usurped Cosroe’s monarchical seat, Tamburlaine inherits his ‘monstrous’ mantle, the smooth transference indicating the shifting quality of ‘monstrosity’ in this play. The new alignment is fitting for a figure who will become the most extended exemplar of a movable ‘strangeness’ that stands outside existing taxonomic arrangements.

At the same time, Cosroe’s choice of Tamburlaine to be his ‘natural’ representative has a controlling directive. Where Menaphon’s device for situating the ‘wondrous’ Tamburlaine is literary, Cosroe’s is cultural – an attempt to confine the Scythian within the parameters of a familiar military convention. The mystique arising from the manufacture of Tamburlaine as a ‘wondrous’ and ‘gigantic’ phenomenon is enhanced by a dialogic process. qxd 9/2/02 4:21 PM Page 40 40 Constructing ‘Monsters’ in Shakespearean Drama and Early Modern Culture One of the play’s concerns is the way in which its leading personalities depend and borrow from each other to secure rhetorical mastery.

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Indiana Jones Explores Ancient Greece by Evans Brothers Limited


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