Had John Dryden written this story with a sense of truth behind it–how Cortez really would have dealt about the situation–we’d have been reading a much more violent tale. The Spanish Conquistadors raided towns in Mexico, killing the men, even the children, and kept the women for sexual relations. It needn’t really to be said that the real Cortez would not have waited so long to take Cydaria; he’d have killed them all and had his way. This was the reality of the Spanish conquest. As for why he and Cydaria did not end up together, that simply ought to do with the fact that he was of a higher rank. In the real historical context, he–a spaniard general –was of higher importance, whereas Cydaria, no matter her prior position in the Aztec empire, was now merely just another “Indian woman” to them.
It was humorous to play around with the idea that they would wind up happily in love. The Spanish conquerer, who murdered one of her own (an allusion, again, to his grotesqueness) and the native woman who was succumbing to his “charm” and true love. If the image isn’t quite all that explicit, then just imagine a story of unrequited love between a Nazi general and a Jewish woman. It’s possible, yes, but only a fool would wish them to find love in each other (considering he just killed one of her loved ones).
–Daniel Lizaola Lopez