Love and Honor

In the Restoration period, plays/ drama seem like a big thing as proven by the pictures we have looked at in lecture. The play was the place to be, because everyone was there, most importantly the Royal family. Which is part of the reason why they are so elaborate. The audience fills the theatres in order to be entertained. So it makes just enough sense as to why the performance should be just as interesting. With a story like “The Indian Emperour”, Dryden brings a twist that surely captures the audience, a love story entangled in a political war.

Drury Lane

The foreign imperialists and the Aztec natives, are portrayed very patriotic (yet confused) towards the decision of their kingdoms. After reading this play I asked myself “what message is the playwright trying to send to the audience during this time specific time period”? It almost seems as if he is trying to make fun of the two leaders because they are so easily swayed by love. Although it is a drama, the play can be used to convey how people of a certain monarchy behave. Even though the female characters are not portrayed as strongly as the males they have an active role in the plot. As I was reading the play I was almost frustrated because of the confusing love web that goes on with the multiple characters. In order to produce the different love angles, Dryden rushes the feelings of the characters to a very unrealistic point. For example, although Almeria is betrothed to Montezuma she falls in love with Cortez while attempting to kill him which leads Cydaria (who initially was betrothed to Orbellan) to accuse him of infidelity. It’s hard to keep up because the character’s feelings change every scene. Even after all that I would assume that at least Cydaria and Cortez end up together but Dryden doesn’t really focus on that instead he ends the play with Montezuma’s funeral. Which leads me to the question does honor trump love?

-Ravneet Dhillon

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One thought on “Love and Honor

  1. I think the idea you wrestle with in this post is that of the complex love relationships within the play. Perhaps what could help your post is to further analyze perhaps one of these relationships, and try to figure out what Dryden was trying to say by infusing romance into a very politically driven play.

    Extra Credit 5/5/2017

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