The Second Part of
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I.i: The Turks, led by Orcanes, are preparing an attack against Hungary. Tamburlaine, however, is causing problems for them. The Turks decide to parley with the Hungarians and return to fight Tamburlaine rather than waste their effort on tiny Hungary.
I.ii: Sigismund of Hungary is willing to fight the Turks, but he is convinced to accept the peace terms offered. Orcanes has Sigismund swear by Christ to keep true to his vow of peace with the Turks and in turn swears the same by Mohamet. Orcanes then pulls out to meet Tamburlaine. He leaves a small detachment to ward Hungary.
I.iii: Tamburlaine is holding Callapine, son of Bajazeth (who dashed his brains out in I Tam). Callapine entreats his jailer Almeda to help him escape and, in Tamburlaine's idiom, promises Almeda a kingdom if he aids in the escape. Almeda agrees.
I.iv: Zenocrate asks Tamburlaine when he will stop warring. Tamburlaine responds, "When heaven shall cease to move on both the poles." We meet Tamburlaine's three sonsCelebinus, the youngest; Amyras, the middle boy (both of whom, like their father, thirst for war); and the eldest, Calyphas (who is cowardly). Tamburlaine means to march on Turkey.
I.v: Tamburlaine meets his king, Theridamas of Argier, who offers his services in the war and gives his crown to impawn his loyalty. Tamburlaine returns the crown in good faith of Theridamas's loyalty.
I.vi: Tamburlaine's other two kingsUsumcasane of Moroccus and Techelles of Fez ("Fesse")enter. They likewise offer and receive back their crowns. The three kings report on the pillage and plunder they have enjoyed since leaving the Sultan's court (at the end of I Tam).
II.i: Frederick advises Sigismund to fall upon the scanty Turkish troops and revenge their murder of Christians. When Sigismund reminds himself of his vow by Christ to remain true to the peace accord, though, Frederick says that such vows cannot hold force when made to a heathen who does not believe in Christ. Convinced, Sigismund calls for his troops to attack the Turks.
II.ii: Orcanes, surprised that Sigismund would recant his vow to his God, asks that Christ and Mohamet side with the Turks in putting down the perjured Sigismund.
II.iii: Sigismund is killed. Orcanes gives Christ a due share of the credit though "Not doing Mahomet an injury, / Whose power had share in this our victory."
II.iv: The arras is drawn to discover Zenocrate on her deathbed, gripped by disease. She begs Tamburlaine's leave to die. A poignant scene follows and she dies. Tamburlaine swears to burn the town where he lost Zenocrate and raise a grand tomb for her on the ashes with "one epitaph / Writ in as many several languages / As I have conquer'd kingdoms with my sword."
III.i: Callapine meets Orcanes and the Turks and is declared Emperor of Turkey. He swears to avenge his father (Bajazeth's) treatment by Tamburlaine. Alameda is promised the kingship, but it is not yet given.
III.ii: Tamburlaine has the town burnt, a hearse bearing Zenocrate is brought in. He decides not to bury his wife but only to raise a monument to her on the ashes. He forbids a town ever to be built there again. Zenocrate's body will go with them until he himself dies and can be buried with his wife. The boys are admonished to cease their lamentations and think on war. When Calyphas balks at the thought of bloodshed, Tamburlaine demonstrates the warrior's lust for honor by cutting open his own arm and having his sons wash their hands in his blood, the scar, he says, will speak of his honor. Celebinus and Amyras beg their father to slash open their arms as well. Tamburlaine says, "It shall suffice that thou dar'st abide a wound." They again set out to meet the Turks. Usumcasane longs to pierce the bowels of the traitor Almeda.
III.iii: Theridamas is besieging Balsera. The captain of Balsera appears on the wall and refuses to yield the town. Theridamas entrenches for the siege.
III.iv: The town falls. The captain is mortally wounded. His wife Olympia, not wishing to live without him, prepares to kill herself. But first her son begs to be dispatched so not to fall into the enemy's hands. She kills the boy and burns the bodies of her husband and son. Before she can kill herself, though, Theridamas enters. He is at once smitten by her beauty and refuses to allow her to die, taking her with him instead. She protests as she is led away that she wants only to die with her family.
III.v: Callapine is informed of Tamburlaine's might. His kings reassure him that their might is equal to Tamburlaine's. Tamburlaine and his sons with Usumcasane parley with Callapine. Callapine promises to avenge Bajazeth. Tamburlaine promises death to Almeda, the traitor. To spite Tamburlaine, Callapine makes Almeda a king on the spotking of Ariadan. Tamburlaine flouts the petty king and retires from the parley.
IV.i: The boys are preparing for war. Calyphas sleeps. When the two younger brothers wake him he swears he will not fight. Instead he calls his servant in and plays cards for who will first kiss the captured concubines.
The battle is over, and Tamburlaine is once again victorious. He catches Calyphas playing at cards. He roars his disapproval. The younger boys beg for leniency towards Calyphas, but Tamburlaine will not abide a coward from his loins and stabs Calyphas to death.
The captured kings call Tamburlaine a barbarian for killing his own son. Tamburlaine replies that the captured concubines will bury Calyphas. His cowardly corpse is not to sully the hands of the meanest soldier who has proved his manhood. Tamburlaine swears, "till by vision or by speech I hear / Immortal Jove say 'Cease, my Tamburlaine,' / I will persist a terror to the world."
IV.ii: Olympiathe captured wife of the captainstill seeks death. She tricks Theridamas into believing that she has an ointment that will render him impervious to sword, bullet, or arrow. To prove her claim she spreads it on her throat and entreats Theridamas to strike. He, of course, kills her as she had hoped. He has her taken to be grandly entombed.
IV.iii: Tamburlaine enters in a chariot being drawn by the kings of Trebizon and Soria. The kings of Natolia (Orcanes) and Jerusalem are brought on behind as extra horses. The kings curse Tamburlaine, who laughs at them. Amyras wants a coach to be drawn by Orcanes and Jerusalem, but Tamburlaine says they are his steeds to draw when the present horses give out. Tamburlaine gives the captured concubines to the lust of his soldiers. Tamburlaine sets out for Babylon.
V.i: Babylon is besieged. Tamburlaine is in black. The Governor of Babylon trusts that the lake surrounding the city"our famous lake of Limnasphaltis"will keep them safe from invasion even though the wall is breeched.
The Governor refuses to surrender. Tamburlaine is drawn on in his chariot having conquered Babylon. The Governor insists that he cannot be frightened. Tamburlaine orders the Governor chained, dragged up the wall, and shot at. The Governor weakens and offers to give Tamburlaine hidden treasure in exchange for his life. Tamburlaine takes the treasure and orders the execution to proceed.
The Governor is trussed, hoisted, and shot to death on stage. The kings of Soria and Trebizon have grown weary pulling the chariot. Tamburlaine orders them unharnessed and hanged. The kings of Jerusalem and Natolia (Orcanes) are harnessed over their great protest. Tamburlaine abjures Mohamet, who has not aided his followers but rather allowed Tamburlaine to slaughter them. Tamburlaine orders all of the Islamic holy works in Babylon burned. The books, etc., are burned on stage. Tamburlaine vows allegiance to God alone"The God that sits in heaven." He falls sick.
V.ii: Callapine and his train are sneaking up on Babylon hoping to surprise Tamburlaine's war-wearied troops. They will wait until Tamburlaine is not available to spur on his troops and then attack. Callapine still seeks to avenge his parents' wrongs.
V.iii: Tamburlaine's kings beweep the great man's illness. Tamburlaine enters on his chariot. He defies the slave Death and calls on his men to wage war on that heaven that will let Tamburlaine grow ill. The Physician says if he can last the day he will live. A messenger enters with news of Callapine's poised forces.
Tamburlaine recovers and says that he will show himself to the enemy and his presence alone will drive them away. The ruse works: "Thus are the villains, cowards fled for fear, Like summer's vapors vanish'd by the sun." A map is brought out and Tamburlaine laments the vast areas of the world he has left unconquered. These areas he leaves for his sons to conquer. Amyras, the oldest surviving son, is crowned. Tamburlaine has him mount the chariot. Zenocrate's hearse is brought in and Tamburlaine dies upon it.
Amyras eulogizes his father.
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