Relevance of Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great Part II to 21st Century Ethnocentrism and Islamophobia
The obscure and often make-believe portraits of the Turks, coupled with preconceptions and prejudices against Islamic nations of the East always occupied a significant place in English dramatic literature, particularly during the Elizabethan England. In fact, stereotypical portrayal of the Turkish characters was never absent from the Renaissance drama in Europe. Christopher Marlowe was undoubtedly one of those English dramatists who extensively employed Turkish characters and the images pertinent to Islamic cultures and geographies. Among those images are Turkish slave, frequently identified with the Jews, fearful Janissary Army, Turkish Pashas, or Sultans, and other unfamiliar characters that always captivated the imagination of the Elizabethan audience. The aim of this study is to make an in-depth analysis of Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great Part II, as a typical example of Elizabethan drama that gives a biased and prejudiced portrayal of Turks and Islamic nations, and to find out how these biased and pejorative images related to this particular geography prevailed throughout the centuries and, finally to seek an answer to the reason why these images remained virtually unchanged even in the 21st century, referring to his above mentioned work.
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