Imperialistic Technique

The play “The Indian Emperor” by John Dryden uses the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards history in order to promote an imperialistic propaganda towards England. It is interesting to see how Dryden was able to create two sides of imperialism by alternating the colonization history: 1) that imperialism is bad and evil, by showing how many of the conquistadors behaved towards the native Americans and how they tortured Montezuma in order to convert him into Christianity and 2) imperialism is something they should consider if they decide to stay united. This second point can be seen through how Dryden decided to perceive Cortés, like discussed in class by making Cortés sympathetic (by believing in love and unison) towards the Native Americans and by making him fall in love with Cydaria, he created an idea of stating that imperialism is good as long as they do not do it like the Spaniards did.

In the other hand when it comes to the relationship between Cortés and Cydaria, I think that Dryden did not end the play with matrimony because there was no need to. As someone had mentioned, he probably just created this love relationship in order to get the audience to “accept” the conquest. At the same time, I feel that Dryden did not end the play in the way we expected it just because the relationship could have been representing the power that an imperialist have over something/someone inferior. For example, as he loved Cydaria but preferred Charles V, we can perhaps perceive this, like the idea that someone can get over or rid of anything that is no longer needed. This situation cannot only be seen within the inferiority of the Native Americans but also within the women herself as she can be thrown away and be dehumanized by man.

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