Honor Always Wins

Dryden’s The Emperour explores the notion that honor is everything–stronger than love even. Even Cortez, a Spaniard in love with an Aztec native, should put the public good before his own needs; with the public good being English superiority. In a sense, Dryden justifies the bloody conquering of land, with honor, “By noble ways we conquest will prepare, first offer peace, and that refus’d, make war.” “Noble” how?

The Emperor serves as an artifact during the sixteenth century. The Restoration theatre was reintroduced under the reign of the Stuart dynasty with King Charles II. Along with the restoration of the English monarchy, came the strong literary movement to establish English superiority over the French. Aiding this effort was Heroic Drama. Heroic Drama, consisting of super masculine heroic verse. We see this in The Emperor’s use of rhyming couplets and iambic pentameter. Also, as stated in Lector Note #3, Heroic Drama also “focuses on a subject that pertains to national foundations.” Dryden is a strong advocate for nationalistic feelings that twenty-first century readers can look to, in search of evidence that white supremacy was beginning to mold a new world.

-Israel Alonso


3 thoughts on “Honor Always Wins

  1. The most interesting idea proposed in this student’s post was the Dryden was attempting to arguing that honor should be triumphant over anything, including love. Although Israel doesn’t really complete this thought, I would agree with him. If I were to improve this post, I would just cite, with quotes specific passages to improve the evidence.


  2. I think in this post you have two ideas here. One on ruminating over the ideas of what’s “noble” in this British perspective, and an examination on lexical moves within the play. I think what could strengthen this post is picking one idea and further examining them with textual evidence as well.

    Extra Credit 5/5/2017


  3. The most original idea in your blog post is “honor is everything–stronger than love even.” To expand on your post I suggest expanding on your ideas of nationalism and the origins of white supremacy. It would also be useful to correlate the rhetoric used in Dryden’s play and the rhetoric used today to justify white supremacy.

    Extra Credit 25/25


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