John Dryden’s The Indian Emperor addresses the conflict between the Spaniards and the natives where honor and love are up for battle. And honor to one’s nationality, story/history and title is more valuable than one’s love to someone who is on the complete opposite spectrum than one’s self. That was the position of Cortez and Cydaria, where they couldn’t be true to their love, because of their pride and honor to their nationalities. The women in this play were used for entertainment, while Cydaria had a little more power than the others because she influenced Cortez to call to a stop the battle that was arising. Their love, was almost as strong as their individual honor to their nationalities. My speculation as to why Dryden didn’t write them into matrimony is because of realistic consequences to their love in the time the play was placed. For one, it wouldn’t have been favored, but also, it would have turned the play into a type of cliché. Though it may feel that all the drama was built for nothing because they didn’t end up in matrimony, I feel like things like that make stories better because as the audience, not only are you upset about it, but you’re supposed to think, like we are now, “why didn’t they end up in matrimony?” Which makes you question things broader than their matrimony, such as the time span of this event, the “class” division/power and even the gender roles as many of my class mates have brought to our attention in their posts. They also write about how Cydaria was able to get to Cortez about his decisions, but she wasn’t “powerful” enough to end up in matrimony with him, for the unclear reasons that I’m trying to address that were bigger than them.



-Luz Palacios


3 thoughts on “Secrecy

  1. The most interesting idea proposed here is that the matrimony of Cydaria and Cortez reveals much about what political statements Dryden is trying to get across. In order to aid this post, I believe tying in material about British-Spanish relations might be able to comprehend some of these questions, considering the native-British relations are secondary to the British-Spanish relations, and the latter operates within the matrimony of Cydaria and Cortez.


  2. I think the original idea you present here is how the women in the play were shown as an idea, and one that should not be entertained. Clearly Dryden is advocating for those to always remember that nationalistic pursuits trump individual ones, even at the cost of denoting love. To add to this, perhaps you could of presented a little more analysis on honor, and why that- in Dryden’s perspective- is more worthy of one’s time than love.

    Extra Credit 5/5/2017


  3. The most original idea in your post is “And honor to one’s nationality, story/history and title is more valuable than one’s love to someone who is on the complete opposite spectrum than one’s self.” In order to make you post stronger I suggest expanding on why Dryden chose to not marry Cortez and Cydaria. Were there possible racial norms Dryden had to stick to that he could flirt with but not fully commit to?

    Extra Credit 22/25


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