comfort

Tamburlaine's footstool, part 1

Footstool by David Scher
Footstool by David Scher

Marlowe was fascinated by the image of a man stepping on another man’s back to climb into a chair. The short scene from Faustus revises and condenses a relationship that Marlowe explores more thoroughly in two acts of Tamburlaine the Great, Part 1. Here is a relevant sample.

Tamburlaine: Bring out my footstool.

. . .

Fall prostrate on the low, disdainful earth

And be the footstool of great Tamburlaine,

That I may rise into my royal throne.

Bajazeth: First thou shalt rip my bowels with thy sword

And sacrifice my heart to death and hell

Before I yield to such a slavery.

Tamburlaine: Base villain, vassal, slave to Tamburlaine,

Unworthy to embrace or touch the ground

That bears the honor of my royal weight,

Stoop, villain, stoop, stoop, for so he bids

Adrian's footstool

Lounge chair by Gerald Summers

Does a chair sit or stand?

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