Tamburlaine the Great

Tamburlaine the Great Character List


Tamburlaine is the main character of the play. He is initially a shepherd who manages to conquer Turkey and other countries. He is described as being a very proud man, seeing himself as a God, bigger that Mahomet and chosen by the Gods to rule over everyone. When talking about himself, he always mentions himself as being the Great Tamburlaine. He is very cruel and war-loving, expecting his sons to be just the same. When Calyphas end up not rising to his father’s standards, Tamburlaine kills him. In many ways, Tamburlaine is a titan who tries to take down the ancient Gods, but fails.


Tamburlaine’s successor to the throne, Amyras is a young version of Tamburlaine. He is cruel and loves war and violence above everything else. Tamburlaine names him his successor on his death bed, and Amyras laments that he will never be able to be as glorious as his father.


Cosroe attempts to overthrow his brother by plotting with Tamburlaine. He is persuasive and manages to convince others that he is a wiser fit for a ruler than his brother is. However, he is naive enough to let Tamburlaine take his crown after they win the battle against his brother.


An Egyptian princess whom Tamburlaine captures. She quickly falls in love with him even though she was supposed to marry someone else. She has three children with Tamburlaine. Her love for her Tamburlaine makes her ignore his cruel nature. Just like Tamburlaine, she is very proud until the day she dies.


Mycetes appears in the first part of the play as the king of Persia. He is a coward and admits that he is not wise enough to be king. He is abused by his brother, Cosroe, but does nothing to stop it.


Callapine manages to remain alive and unconquered by Tamburlaine. Callapine is the heir of the Turkish Empire, Bajazeth's son. Callapine attacks Tamburline one more time before Tamburline dies, and it is implied that he will continue to attack Tamburlaine’s heir.


He is the emperor of Turkey in the first part, captured and conquered by Tamburlaine. He is very proud and violent in his language. Bajazeth kills himself by bashing his head into the walls of his cell when he realizes that he Tamburlaine will humiliate him forever.


Zabina is the Turkish queen captured with her husband, Bajazeth. Before her husband is defeated, she manifests proudness when speaking with Zenocrate. When Zabina sees that Bajazeth killed himself, she does the same thing as he did and kills herself.


A fierce enemy of Tamburlaine, he is the king of Natolia before Tamburlaine captures him. He attributes one of his victories to Christ, denoting a Christian-like mentality rather than the Islamic one found in the majority of the characters in the play.


Calyphas is one of Tamburlaine’s sons. He is different from his two brothers, who are almost a perfect image of their father. Because of his kind nature and because he is not interested in war, Calyphas is killed by his own father.


Anippe is Zenocrate’s maid who is told to treat Zabina as a slave after she is conquered.


Calyphas's idle companion.


She is the wife to the captain of Balsera, appearing in the second part of the play. After her husband dies, she stabs her son and then makes sure her husband and son’s bodies are cremated. She tries to kill herself, but Theridamas stops her. He falls in love with her and intends to take her to Tamburlaine; however, Olympia tricks him into killing her.


He is a Persian lord who conspires with Cosroe to overthrow Mycetes.


Meandre is Mycete’s adviser, loyal to him until he is defeated; thereafter, he becomes loyal to Cosroe.

King of Soria

Another king conquered by Tamburlaine, forced to pull his chariot and hanged when he couldn’t do it anymore.

King of Trebizon

After he is conquered by Tamburlaine, he is forced to pull his chariot. Tamburlaine eventually kills him.

King of Jerusalem

Just like the King of Trebizon and Soria, he is forced by Tambrlaine to pull his chariot.

The son of Captain of Balsera

After his father dies, his mother kills him to spare him from torture and humiliation.

Captain of Balsera

The Captain of Balsera is killed when Techelles and Theridamas attack his city.


He is a lord traveling with Zenocrate when Tamburlaine captures her. He tries to convince her not to give in to Tamburlaine’s advantages, and Tamburlaine hears him. Fearing that he will be tortured, Agydas kills himself.


Techelles is the king of Fez, loyal to Tamburlaine.


Usumcasane is the King of Morocco and loyal to Tamburlaine.


Sigismond is the King of Hungary. He vows not to attack Orcanes, but breaks his vow. He is defeated, and Orcanes believes that it is because Sismond didn’t kept his word that he won.


Theridamas was Mycetes’ chief captain, sent to kill Tamburlaine. He is convinced to switch sides and becomes devoted to Tamburlaine.


Callapines’ jailer, who is promised a kingdom if he helps him get out of jail.

King of Arabia

Also called Alcidamus, he is the one who was supposed to marry Zenocrate. Even though Zenocrate prays for his life, he is killed during Tamburlaine’s battle with the sultan of Egypt.

Governor of Damascus

He tries to save his city by sending a gift to Tamburlaine, but he fails.

Governor of Babylon

The Governor of Babylon is a proud man, hiding in his city when Tamburlaine attacks it. When the city is conquered, the governor tries to convince Tamburlaine not to kill him, but his plan fails.


One of Tamburlaine’s sons. He is like his father, cruel and bloodthirsty.


The one who convinces Sigismund to break his vow of peace with Orcanes.