• In Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great an Ottomansultan who is defeated in battle by Tamburlaine and subsequently carriedabout in an iron cage by his captor. Bajazet eventually beats outhis brains on the bars of his prison. The character is based on thehistorical Bayezid I (ruled 1389 - 1403), who was defeated andcaptured by Timur in 1402. There is, however, no evidence for thestory of the cage.

    The caged sultan also appears in Nicholas Rowe's anti-Catholicplay Tamerlane (1701), in which he partly represents LouisXIV of France and his conqueror William III of England. For over acentury the play was performed each 5 November, the anniversary ofWilliam's landing in Britain.

  • A tragedy by Racine that set a new fashion by usingsubject matter from recent Turkish history. It was first performedin 1672 in Paris; although Racine was criticized in some quartersfor treating an oriental story in classical style, the play was agreat success. It is now seldom performed.

    Set in 1635 in Constantinople, the plot concerns the sultan'syounger brother, Bajazet, who reluctantly agrees to wed the possessive and violent sultana Roxane in order to gain the throne. When Roxane learnsthat Bajazet is really in love with the innocent Atalide, a young Ottoman princess, she has him murdered. The play's atmosphere is one of intrigue and passion.

    Roxane provided a famous role for Rachel, who worean approximation of Turkish dress as part of her campaign for historicalaccuracy in costumes.