Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Andrew Bozio

Second Advisor

Timothy Wientzen


This essay endeavors to engage with the critical context surrounding Marlowe’s Tamburlaine parts I and II and the plays themselves to consider race. Scholarly discourse on the Tamburlaine plays has historically focused on imperialism, colonialism, and questions of religion, but race has been largely overlooked. This essay provides a survey of scholarly perspectives that have worked to marginalize discussions of race and turns to critical race theory as an interpretive framework. The application of critical race theory to questions of performativity and early modern reception subsequently affords a new perspective on race in Tamburlaine that challenges dominant scholarly discourse. Ultimately, the essay concludes with a broader consideration of form to both reaffirm the efficacy of literary interpretation and situate it in a capacious context. Thus, this analysis of form maintains the potential to overturn pervasive hegemony and ideological violence predicated on racialization.