This thesis will seek to show how 1 Henry VI was used as a vessel for character experimentation, and how Shakespeare attempted to create a new kind of heroic protagonist, inspired by, and in opposition to, Marlowe’s Tamburlaine. It begins by considering some of the most common critical points which hedge 1 Henry VI and the liberty afforded by the genre within which it exists. It goes on to consider 1 and 2 Tamburlaine, and attempts to illustrate how 1 Henry VI demonstrates its agon with Marlowe’s superhero from its opening scene onwards. Harold Bloom describes the Henry VI plays as a laboratory, from which only Richard III emerged. The thesis will seek to illustrate how, in 1 Henry VI in particular, Shakespeare was mostly experimenting with finding a new, heroic main character which could be a more psychologically complex Tamburlaine for a new type of theatre.In the second part of the thesis Shakespeare’s protagonist Talbot is given a thorough analysis. The thesis illustrates how he struggles with the act of speaking, with living up to his great name and to find his place within the evolving world around him, as opposed to how Marlowe’s protagonist had forced the world to succumb to his dominant personality.It concludes by showing Talbot having outlived his usefulness, both in the emerging world around him, and to his dramatist, who allows him the most archaic of endings to emphasize his new-found alien status.