First Blog Post: John Dryden’s “The Indian Emperour, or the Conquest of Mexico”

In John Dryden’s The Indian Emperour, the theme of love versus honor, private interests versus the public good, drives the characters’ dramatic actions, especially between the conquering male Spaniards and the female natives.  However, while the play’s ending hints at the requited love between Cydaria and Cortez, Dryden never explicitly brings them together in union and matrimony.  In making this decision, is the playwright conveying to his audience doubts or anxieties about the relationship between the foreign imperialists (Catholic Conquistadors) and the Aztec natives?  Situate your answer in the context of the Restoration theater and politics that colored the audiences’ reception of the play (feel free to reference the inserted images).

The posts are due by next Wednesday, 2/6 at 9:30am.  Before you write the post, please review the directions on blog post writing and the blog post grading rubric in the syllabus, as well as the “How to Post” tab above.  Please categorize your post under “Restoration Theatre and Drama” and don’t forget to create specific and relevant tags.  And please sign your posts so that your TA, Zakir, and I know who wrote what.

Scene from John Dryden's 'the Indian Emperor or the Conquest of Mexico', 1732 Giclee Print

Scene from John Dryden’s “The Indian Emperour or the Conquest of Mexico,” print by English artist William Hogarth, 1732.  The play is here staged in a private upper-class English residence.

A Brief Introduction to “The Literature of Power”

The link below includes Thomas De Quincey’s “The Literature of Knowledge and the Literature of Power,” which was first published in the literary periodical North British Review (August , 1848; revised in 1858) as part of a larger essay on Alexander Pope (one of the authors covered in our course).  It is one of the earliest manifestos on the idea of a British literature survey.


Here’s a brief biography of De Quincey from the Victorian Web, a highly recommended academic resource:

FYI-this YouTube clip offers a concise informative survey of Restoration and 18th-century British Literature, the topic for the first half of this course.  It does a great job of providing some basic literary and historical context for the authors and works we will be studying in this course.  This quick survey will also give you a sense of the authors and works we will be skipping over.