Part II, with Tamburlaine’s murder of his son and his own death by internal combustion, belongs to the myth. The last half of the play, especially Act V, presenting the final conquest in Babylon, shows Marlowe evoking the imagery of the end of the world. It begins with the episode of Tamburlaine’s receiving the crowns of tributary kings “That little hope is left to save our lives” (p.99), then re-crowning them in a ceremony whose length suggests that in performance this was a bigger version of the crowning of Antichrist. Also like the Antichrist, Tamburlaine then delegates his tributary kings with their special powers of rule. Hyperbolic language emphasizes this sense of greatness. Orcanes calls Tamburlaine Emperor of the world (p.56), supported by the hyperbolic symbol of captive kings drawing the world-ruler across the field.
“What daring god torments my body thus,
And seeks to conquer mighty Tamburlaine?
Shall sickness prove me now to be a man,
That have been term’d the terror of the world?
Techeles and the rest, come, take your swords,
And threaten him whose hand afflicts my soul:
Come, let us march against the powers of heaven,
And set black streamers in the firmament,
To signify the slaughter of the gods.
Ah, friends, what shall I do? I cannot stand.
Come, carry me to war against the gods,
That thus envy the health of Tamburlaine.” (p.127)
This impressive icon of power redoubles that of Bajazeth as a footstool in Part I. Marlowe proves his mastermind in the