Love or Honor?

In John Dryden’s The Indian Emperour, The playwright struggles between a theme of love versus honor. It’s interesting how they’re not interrelated since a heroic drama would lead to the main character, male obviously, to desire and obtain power. Power itself is the motive for the main character however why is it that it cannot exist within this play as love? Underlining issues of unity between Catholic Conquistadors and Aztec natives display a battle that is not over; if it were then the love of Cydaria and Cortez would be established in the end of the play. Does the choice of Honor over Love have to do with a misogynistic perspective of the historical events taking place outside of the theatre?

The photograph inserted within the discussion question makes it apparent how women are being displayed as entertainment while the men watch. It’s rather my assumption that Dryden included Love elements in his play for the sake of appealing to a wide range of audiences when it should have begun and end with his true intentions for the play. Additionally, while the women are being displayed as entertainment in the photograph, there’s no sign of Aztec natives, why? Is it because they’re merely around to exploit in Dryden’s overview or for the sake of illuminating the main character into being honorable?


-Kristy Frausto


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