The Indian Emperor (love v honor)

I don’t believe the fact that Dryden decides to not unify Cortez and Cydaria in the ending of the play to communicates a doubt or anxiety particularly between the Aztec’s and the Imperialist. It is suggestive of some unfinished feeling between the two much in the sense that there’s unfinished conflict between those who support the crown and do not in England at the time. It seems to me the play was aimed at looking badly upon the Spanish for their religious conquest of Mexico in a sense suggesting religious conquest is bad in general much in the way perhaps some English felt in not being able to live ‘Puritan’ ideals in their country. Further than that though, the play seems to suggest that there is a wrong way as to how to go about conquering new land in the contrast between Pizarro and Cortez. 

While Dryden provides a much kinder Cortez than we are familiar with, the unification of him to Cydaria would have been an hypocrisy that would heighten the tensions existing between love and honour by raising further questions as to which is more important; the honour that has its root in serving ones country or romantic love.

Araceli Garcia Munoz


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