Building Consensus

I agree with the statement that John Dryden is casting doubt and anxiety upon his audience regarding the relationship between Spanish imperialists and the Aztecs through the unfulfilled relationship between Cydaria and Cortez In The Indian Emperor. I believe John Dryden did not have the relationship take off in this play for the specific reason that the theater was the “Place to be” and the perfect way to get his viewpoint across to the masses was to put it into a play which would certainly be seen or at least heard by most of the population, including the king. Dryden was in favor of the restoration of Charles II to the throne, which likely meant that he shared some of the monarch’s views. Dryden probably had some misgivings about a peaceful relationship between the Aztecs and imperialists and my have sought to use the popularity of the theater to shift the public consensus toward his perspective, because even if the average attendee didn’t understand the play the more educated watchers certainly did and would be able to relay their analysis to others who didn’t understand thus spreading Dryden’s view. The spreading of his viewpoint may have also been particularly important to John Dryden because he, being a critic of Spain wanted to paint them in a negative light with his play. The added gossip from the attendees of the theater would further divide England from the Spanish emperor and make England appear more civilized as they weren’t yet in the business of empire building as Spain was. I really think that Dryden was a very opinionated person so much so that he would use his art to elevate his opinions and influence others into thinking the same as him which was the main reason as to why he left an unfinished relationship between Cydaria and Cortez.

                -Evan Klang

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