Algebra and the Art of War: Marlowe's Military Mathematics in Tamburlaine 1 and 2
Cahiers Élisabéthains: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies
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Jarrett, J. (2018). Algebra and the Art of War: Marlowe's Military Mathematics in Tamburlaine 1 and 2. Cahiers Élisabéthains: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, 95 (1), 19-39. https://doi.org/10.1177/0184767817749248
In his Tamburlaine plays, Marlowe broached a difficulty of dramaturgy: how can an acting company of a dozen men convey to their audience the scale of military battles involving thousands? Here, I argue that algebra provided Marlowe his solution. I reconsider the numbers critics have noticed are ubiquitous throughout Tamburlaine 1 and 2 in terms of their algebraic functions and their role in effecting an algebraic stage. My contention is that Marlowe utilized algebra to create a unique aesthetic of warfare, in which the enormity of battle could be played out imaginatively within the small space of the Elizabethan theatre.
Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine, algebra, war
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0184767817749248
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/277123