DRYDEN AURENG ZEBE PDF

Academic journal article Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. Abraham's relation to Isaac, ethically speaking, is quite simply expressed by saying that a father shall love his son more dearly than himself. First acted in against a backdrop of mounting fear and anxiety regarding the succession of the English monarchy, John Dryden's Aureng-Zebe: A Tragedy published 1 manipulates the events of contemporary Indian history in controversial and fascinatingly provocative ways. Seeming to provide Dryden with an apt political parallel to events at home, the vicious--indeed mortal--competition among the four sons of the Emperor Shah Jehan had been amply documented in Francois Bernier's influential History of the Late Revolution of the Empire of the Great Mogol, translated into English in

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Academic journal article Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. Abraham's relation to Isaac, ethically speaking, is quite simply expressed by saying that a father shall love his son more dearly than himself. First acted in against a backdrop of mounting fear and anxiety regarding the succession of the English monarchy, John Dryden's Aureng-Zebe: A Tragedy published 1 manipulates the events of contemporary Indian history in controversial and fascinatingly provocative ways.

Seeming to provide Dryden with an apt political parallel to events at home, the vicious--indeed mortal--competition among the four sons of the Emperor Shah Jehan had been amply documented in Francois Bernier's influential History of the Late Revolution of the Empire of the Great Mogol, translated into English in Critics of the play have acknowledged its historical anachronism--the brothers' brutal battle had already run its sanguinary course by the time Dryden set his drama 2 --as well as the significant discrepancies between Dryden's fictionalized Aureng-Zebe, a model of filial loyalty, and his historical counterpart, a "Machiavellian manipulator" who imprisoned his father and betrayed and executed his brothers.

Whereas Dryden's character begins the play betrothed to the fictional Indamora, the historical Aurangzeb was long since married, with grown sons, when he ascended the Indian throne in Dryden's misrepresentation of Aureng-Zebe's marital situation allows the playwright to create a complex scenario in which the competition over women serves as a surrogate for, and correlative of, the struggle for political power.

The fabricated sexual subplot, in which father and sons vie for the same woman, brings to center stage the familiar trope of sexual contention among men, 4 a rivalry particularly potent in this play because it encompasses, and also potentially redirects, the political right to rule.

In Dryden's rendering of Indian history, the ailing emperor Shah Jehan, although he is never named designates as successor Aureng-Zebe rather than his oldest son Dara, promising his now dutiful third-born son marriage to the "captive queen" Indamora in exchange for that son's continued loyalty. Once the emperor himself falls in love with Indamora, however, he retracts the promise of political power when Aureng-Zebe fails to relinquish her; Morat, the son the emperor subsequently favors, in turn becomes the adversary of both the emperor and Aureng-Zebe as he too grows enamored of the beautiful prisoner.

Dryden, of course, is not alone in his exploration of the dynamics between sexual and political rivalry. In the years immediately following Aureng-Zebe, Thomas Otway and Nathaniel Lee produced similar dramas of father-son conflict, both with tragic results. Within the last decade, postcolonial critiques of Aureng-Zebe have challenged us to expand our understanding of power relations in the play by locating those dynamics within a broader colonial context. According to these readings, Dryden's manipulations of Indian history--most particularly his creation of "a fictional Aurangzeb unrecognizably transformed from the original monarch then on the throne at Agra"--are part of an emerging proto-imperialist discourse in which India becomes "the utterly other," ripe for the economic and political incursions that would follow in the wake of Aurangzeb's tumultuous rule.

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Fathers, Sons, and Lovers: The Transformation of Masculine Authority in Dryden's Aureng-Zebe

Aureng-Zebe was John Dryden's last rhymed play and it is frequently considered his best. In this tragedy, produced in , published in , the plot is loosely based on a contemporary account of the struggle between the four sons of Shah Jahan, the fifth Mogul emperor, for the succession to the throne. The hero is a figure of exemplary rationality, virtue, and patience whose stepmother lusts after him and whose father pursues the woman with whom Aureng-Zebe is himself in love. Dryden evinces a deeply disturbing awareness of the anarchy and impotence which threaten every aspect of human life, emotional, moral, and political. After a brief period in government, he turned his attention almost entirely to writing.

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Aureng-Zebe, Prologue

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Aureng-Zebe

This last of Dryden's rhymed heroic plays evinces a deeply disturbing awareness of the anarchy and impotence which threaten every aspect of human life. John Dryden — poet, playwright, and critic. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice. Oxford Reference. Publications Pages Publications Pages.

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