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The metaphor of conquest in Dryden's The conquest of Granada

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The metaphor of conquest in Dryden's The conquest of Granada
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Compton, Gail Howard, 1937-
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English
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viii, 123 leaves. : ; 28 cm.

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English thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- English -- UF
Dryden, John -- Conquest of Granada -- 1631-1700 ( lcsh )
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Thesis--University of Florida, 1968.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 121-123).
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Manuscript copy.
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Vita.

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Full Text
THE
DRYDEN’S
METAPHOR OF CONQUEST IN
THE CONQUEST OF GRANADA
By
GAIL H. COMPTON
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1968


Copyright by
Gail H, Comoton
1963


To my Mother and
the Memory of my Father


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
In the preparation of this dissertation I have incurred
nary debts of gratitude which it is my pleasure to acknowledge.
I am very grateful to Mr, Ray Jones and the staff of ths reference
department of the University of Florida library whoso courtesies
and assistance, especially in efficiently furnishing me with materials
from other libraries, have been most valuable, I wish to acknow¬
ledge my gratitude to Dr. Ants Oras and Dr. Eugene Ashby Hammond
for giving of their time to serve on my dissertation committee,
Finally, I am deeply indebted to my director, Dr, Aubrey Williams,
who first suggested Dryden's play as a topic, and whose patience
and impatience as teacher and critic have been equally invaluable,
iv


PREFACE
Sir William Davenant's The Siege of Rhodes, produced in
I658, set a precedent for a whole series of Restoration heroic plays
dealing with the siege or conquest of a city or nation. In the 1660'
and 1070's alone the following "siege" plays were produced: The
Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, or The Indian Emperor by John
Dryden; The Siege of Constantinople by Henry Nevil Payne; The
Siege of Memphis, or The Ambitious Queen by Thomas D'Urfey; The
Destruction of Jerusalem (two parts) by John Crowne; The Siege of
Babylon by Samel Fordage; and The Destruction of Troy by John
Banks, Of these plays, only William Davenant's Siege of Rhodes and
Dryden's The Indian Emperor and his two-part play The Conquest of
Granada, produced in 1670, are included in modern anthologies of
Restoration drama, but the number of plays written and produced
during the Restoration in which siege, destruction and conquest
were important elements seems to indicate that the use of these
subjects had reached such an extent that they could b9 called a
convention. Of course, Dryden's plays were among the earliest of
the siege or conquest plays in the heroic genre, and may themselves
have played a large role in making such plays popular fare.
What precisely brought about this wide-spread use of
siege and conquest for the heroic play would entail research
dealing with material beyond the scope of this dissertation, but
v


vi
Dryden himself made it clear in the essay "Of Heroic Plays" that he
considered the epic to be the source of many of the elements of his
heroic play, The Conquest of Granada; specifically, he mentions the
hero and the fable as the two main elements which the heroic play
owed to the epic, or heroic poem, as Dryden called it. The two
epics which Dryden cites, however, also deal with siege and conquest;
Homer's Iliad and Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered both provide examples
of heroic endeavors in the context of destruction and conquest. In
addition to these epics, Dryden most certainly owed a.debt to
several of the Spanish histories of the conquest of Granada, and,
to some extent, to the literature which developed from them, in
particular, the French romance by Georges de Scudery called Almahide.
It should be noticed that most of the sources are Christian
literature or histories, and it is with these, rather than the
pagan epic, that Dryden's concept of conquest has the most affinity.
Dryden's distinctive use of the conquest theme In The Conquest of
Granada is shaped, in part, by his concept of the role of Frovidence
in the history of nations and the paradox of evil and good, de¬
struction and restoration, which characterize the historical pro¬
cesses under the rule of Providence. These latter elements are
aspects of the subject of conquest to be found only in the Christian
literature which Dryden acknowledges as sources—Jerusalem Delivered
and the Spanish histories.
Although it is important to recognize the thematic re¬
lationship of the sources to Dryden's play, the study of these
sources alone will not reveal fully the complexity of Dryden's use
of the conquest theme in The Conquest of Granada. A close in-


vil
vestigation of the imagery of destruction and conquest as it is
used in relation to specific characters in the play reveals the
extent to -which Dryden adapted the literary and historical accounts
of heroic conquest to his own particular concept of heroic virtue and
love. Conquest becomes a rich metaphor in Dryden’s work, one which
describes a process that encompasses human flux from the smallest
unit of the single individual to the larger unit of political order.
Conquest, as defined in the context of Dryden's play, is a process
of destruction and restoration.
The approach which this dissertation takes is to begin
with the sources, emphasizing the hero and the "fable" as did Dryden,
but attempting, at the same time, to go beyond the obvious sim¬
ilarities with the .epic sources to point out the unique problems
which faced Dryden in adapting both the epic hero and the fable
to an essentially Christian concept of conquest. The last two
chapters deal almost exclusively with specific characters in the
play and their participation in the conquest of Granada,


TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv
PREFACE . . v
CHAPTER
I. SOURCES 1
Section I. ............. . 3
Section II ........ . 14
NOTES 29
II. DESTRUCTION ..... 32
NOTES 62
III. PROVIDENTIAL CHANGE AND RESTORATION .... 65
Section I.... ........... 6?
Section II. ••••«•••.*••• 81
Section III. 89
NOTES Ill
CONCLUSION 114
NOTES 120
LIST OF WORKS CITED 121
viii


CHAPTER I
SOURCES
In order to understand, even in part, the use of the
conquest metaphor and the allied images of destruction and restoration
in Dryden's Conquest of Granada, it will be helpful to approach
the play first through the specific traditions within which Dryden
placed perhaps his most ambitious heroic play. As a result of a
flurry of objections to the moral implications of the play, Dryden
felt it necessary to justify his hero and the values expressed in
the play. These justifications took the form of establishing several
literary and historical precedents for the play's hero and its
subject matter.
Interestingly enough, of the two epic sources which Dryden
judges to be most relevant to the understanding of the nature of
his hero, Almanzor, only one contains a similarity which sheds
light on the hero’s relationship to the conquest theme of The Conquest
of Granada; Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, with its Christian conquest
of Jerusalem, comes much closer to containing a parallel to Dryden's
vision of conquest than does the Iliad with its pagan conquest of
Troy; Rinaldo is much closer in spirit to Almanzor than is Achilles,
In addition to establishing the literary ancestry of his
1


2
hero, Dryden was concerned to establish what many seventeenth century
critics felt to be the most important aspect of the epic—the
"fable," or moral. The Iliad provided Dryden with the earliest and.
most prestigious example of the fable of civil discord which he
said provided the moral foundation of The Conquest of Granada, yet,
almost lost in his acknowledgements in "Of Heroic Plays" is a brief
allusion to a "history of Spain." There are several sixteenth
and seventeenth century Spanish histories which drew from the conquest
of Granada the same political moral as Dryden drew from the Iliad—
discord destroys a state. Yet the several Spanish-Catholic his¬
tories which might have been available to Dryden take the moral, a
step further, expanding the conquest of Granada into an emblem
which exemplifies a special manifestation of Providential design.
The impression received from these justifications through
acknowledgement of sources is that Dryden himself felt that the
hero and the fable were pivotal points in understanding the play.
It is true, however, that a failure to take Dryden's sketchy hints
about the nature of the hero and the fable and delve further into
their significance in relation to the various sources cited may
give only an inadequate and superficial understanding of their
function in The Conquest of Granada.


Section I
In the wake of the first performances of The Conquest of
Granada, perhaps John Dryden's greatest and most epic dramatic en¬
deavor, critical attacks in the form of several satiric "censures"
appeared in print, followed closely by several "vindications" and
replies to the vindications. Besides quibbling about the decorum
of certain of Dryden's metaphors and images, the attackers found
what they felt was rich satiric material in the play's hero, Almanzor,
The first of the series of censures and vindications published in
l6?3, The Censure of the Rota, On Mr, Driden's Conquest of Granada,
contains in one short statement the basic objections to the play
and its hero. Speaking of Dryden, the author asserts that "this
Zany of Columbus has discover'd a Poetical World of greater extent
then £sic3 the Naturall, peopled with Atlantick Colony’s of nationall
creatures, Astrall Spirits, Ghosts, & Idols, more various then even
the Indians worshipt and Heroes, more lawless then their Savages."^-
Further, Almanzor's lawlessness is said to be specifically akin to
Hobbes' state of war, Hobbes is conjured like an evil spirit whose
very presence contaminates and condemns the play, and his supposed
advocacy of lawlessness is linked with a claim attributed to Dryden
that poetic heroes are not to be confined "to the narrow walks of
2
other common Mortals, ..." As many another contemporary critic
of Hobbes' ideas had done, the anonymous writer of the Censure
3


4
was quick to claim Hobbes' assumption of a theoretical original
savage and warlike state and his theory of self-interest as under¬
mining all concepts of order. By describing a hero whose actions,
even in part, reflected disobedience to established authority, no
matter the form, Dryden incurred the same kind of criticism.
The main objections to the "lawlessness" of the play
Bryden recognized as concentrating on the nature of Almanzor, who,
3
he claimed, was the "one great exception" made to the Conquest;
consequently, Dryden shapes his defense of the piny around the
figure of Almanzor. From both the "Dedication" of the Conquest
and the prefatory, "Of Heroic Plays," one can extract some of the
elements which Dryden felt went into the formation of the "fable"
of The Conquest and its hero. Far from being casual appendices to
the events and characters of the play, the references to models,
both literary and historical, pagan and Christian, indicate the
dimensions which Dryden visualized for the heroic drama. Specifically,
it was important to Dryden that his hero be understood as a part
Of a heroic tradition that could be traced through Christian as
well as classical literature,
A great part of Dryden's justification for his hero
appears in the form of literary ancestry. The Greek patriarch of
Alxtuizor's fictional ancestry is Achilles; then, skipping to the
Italian Renaissance, Dryden chooses Tasso's Rinaldo, from the
Christian epic Jerusalem Delivered arri, from a contemporary French
work, Artaban of Calprenede's Hymen's Praeludia: or, Love^
Masterpiece.


5
The importance of Dryden's establishment of Almanzor's
literary ancestry has generally been ignored in readings of the play.
In overlooking this obvious point, critics have missed an important
indication of the political and moral complexity of the heroic
play as Dryden saw it. Besides their valor as warriors, the three
heroes hold in common a rebellions spirit, and a tenuous relation¬
ship with the authority figure of their particular literary land¬
scape. Cn this similarity Dryden is most insistent; both Achilles's
and Rinaldo's acts of rebellion are emphasized in the essay. When
his wrath is moved, Achilles is prevented from attacking Agamemnon
only by ths hand of Minerva; Rinaldo refuses to b9 judged by his
general for killing a fellow knight, both the killing and the con¬
sequent rebellion stemming from his fiery, uncontrollable temper.
Artaban is mentioned only ones in the essay, but both his physical
description and his history closely parallel Almanzor's. The fol¬
lowing account of a first meeting with Artaban is uttered by Elisa,
who eventually becomes the object of his rather violent love;
His visage and port shewed the evidence of
something so great and noble, as in spite of
the malicious noise that ran about the World
of his obscure Birth, I could not consider him
at a less rate, than if his Temples had been
impaled with a regal Diadem; He was then with¬
out Arms, and his head uncovered, which gave
me the greater license to remark, as well the
sparkling vivacity in his eyes, the perfect
proportions and kindred of all the features in
his visage; ... in all the regards and line¬
aments of his face, there appeared a natural
fierceness, which though h9 then endeavoured
in our presence to keep within a cover of
respect, yet he could not hide it so hansomely,
but we saw something through those stoopings
of his spirit that made him born to command


6
others, born to dis-esteem the whole World,
and think it held none fit to be his Rival
in glory: , . .
The similarities between Artaban and Almanzor are obvious? each is
a fierce and rather savage warrior of unknown birth whose nobility
of spirit shines through a foreboding and dark visage. In both
cases, the physical description implies an undercurrent of dis¬
ruptive violence. The unlucky king in whose service Artaban fights
is Tigranes. Apparently, Artaban is a free agent, acknowledging
allegiance to no country, and, consequently, Tigranes' power over
him is limited, Artaban's rebellion against the king's authority
is justified in terms which Dryden repeats in Almanzor's defence—
Artaban was not "born in [TigranesJ service," but serves him out
of an “unconstrained Will, Thus when Tigranes refuses to grant
the freedom he has promised the captured Elisa and her mother,
Artaban's consequent rebellion is not against his rightful king, but
against one who is unable to lay claim to a command over his will,
and who has done an injustice while acting a kingly role. As for
Almanzor, charged with "changing sides," he is justified in that
"He is not born their subject whom he serves, and he is injured
by them to a very high degree."^ It might also have been said in
their defence that neither Artaban nor Almanzor were causes of
Tigranes' and Boabdelin's ruins? the "order" w*hich the heroes
disrupt is, in both cases, precarious and, for the most part,
illusory. For both heroes birth becomes a pivotal point: neither
hero is born under the king against whom h9 rebels^ neither hero
knows initially any ties of blood nor acknowledges any authority?


7
both, however, come to their final heroic apotheoses complete with
country, recognized lineage, and mistress.
Most source studi.es on The Conquest include one other
possible French source, Georges de Scudery's Almahide, ou, l'esclave
Reyne, a romance dealing with the conquest of Granada. Following
Gerard Langbaigne's accusation of plagiarism in An Account of the
English Dramatic Poets, very little was done to contravene the
impression that Dryden's play was little more than a translation
or adaptation of the French work until Montague Summers' intro¬
duction to Dryden's Dramatic Works. Summers' conclusion about the
relationship between the English heroic play and the French romance
restored the balance:
It is quite plain that Dryden has taken some¬
thing, but not much, merely a hint, from Idle
de Scudery's romance Almahide, ou 1'Esclave
Reine, three parts, Paris, I0ÓO-Ó3," ,
Dryden had borrowed an incident here and
there from Almahide, but these ha has com¬
muted and made entirely his own.'
Just how little Dryden depended on de Scudéry is apparent
in the character of Almanzor. Young Ponce de Leon, Almanzor's
counterpart in Almahide, enters Granada as a slave in order to be
near Amihita, or as she is known in Granada, Almahide. He remains
a slave, constantly attempting to please his "sovereign" lady,
casting a very pale shadow beside that of Dryden's warrior-hero.
The illustrious Ponce de Leon is tall,
and the best proportion'd person in the World;
and his shape is so perfect in every part,
that the strictest Rules of painting can find
nothing therein, but what is absolutely rare.


8
His demeanour and his aspect so Noble and full
of Majesty, that they alone would suffice to
evidence the Grandeur of his Birth, and the
antiquity of that Royal Race from which he is
descended. So fair-hair'd as can possibly be
express'd, which is the more wonderful among
the Complexions of Spain, which are generally
black. His bright and full Eyes are of deep
Blue, but so sweet and charming, that they gain _
as many Hearts as they dart forth Glances? . . .
The "sweetness" of Ponce's appearance and manner is in keeping with a
work whose pages are filled with leisurely discourse and courtly
debate. There are little or no rough edges to Ponce's figure or
character? his chief concern is to learn the proper subservience
due the love-bondage which he serves under Almahide's "absolute
Power." Almanzor's role in the movement of the affairs of Granada,
and his relationship with Almahide, are so sufficiently different
from de Scudéry's Ponce as to warrant declaring Dryden's independence
on this point.
It seems that Dryden chose Almanzor's literary ancestry
carefully. In calling attention to the qualities of each one of
the heroes of the Iliad, Jerusalem Delivered, and Hymen's Praeludia,
Dryden implicitly underlines the one fundamental quality that they
share: imperfection. In the "Dedication of the Aeneis," moreover,
Dryden makes it clear that there are three epic poems which stand
in lofty solitude in relation to the surrounding literary landscape:
"There have been but one great Ilias, and one Aeneis, in so many
ages. The next, but the next with a long interval betwixt, was the
Jerusalem: I mean not so much in distance of time, as in excel-
q
lency. The Aeneis, however, in spite of its greatness, is excluded


9
from relationship with the Conquest, because of the nature of its hero—
his is perfect virtue.
The debate over heroic perfection or imperfection is pivotal
to an understanding of Almanzor and his place in the events of The
Conquest. Of the several sources mentioned by Dryden, two epics and
one romance contain a heroic figure of imperfect virtue: Achilles
of the Iliad, Rinaldo of Jerusalem Delivered, and Artaban of Hymen * s
Praeludia, and from their imperfections come discord and "perturbations.”
But in spite of these well-known precedents, Dryden found himself
in the position of having to justify, on moral grounds, his use of
the flawed hero. The practice of referring to a flawed character
as "heroic" did not go undisputed in the seventeenth century, RenS
Rapin, for example, felt that the word "heroic" was understood to
mean that which was above the ordinary virtue of man.^ The heroic
poem and its hero were to present examples which were to be imitated,
thereby producing good princes and loyal subjects, and contributing
to the stability of the state. Dryden himself later expressed this
view in his "Dedication of the Aeneis" when he described the heroic
poem as "undoubtedly the greatest work which the soul of man is
capable to perform. The design of it is to form the mind to heroic
virtue by example,"^ Dryden also maintained, however, that a heroic
poem could furnish a kind of moral negative, to be imitated only in
the reverse, and Achi3J.es remained his prime piece of evidence for
the defense:
The shining quality of an epic hero, his mag¬
nanimity, his constancy, his patience, his
piety, or whatever characteristical virtue


10
his poet gives him raises first our admiration.
We are naturally prone to imitate what we ad¬
mire; and frequent acts produce a habit. If
the hero's chief quality be vicious as, for
example, the choler and obstinate desire of
vengeance in Achilles, yet the moral is in¬
structive: and besides, we are informed in
the very proposition of the Iliads, that this
anger was pernicious; that it brought a thousand
ills on the Grecian camp. The courage of Achilles
is proposed to imitation, not his pride and
disobedience in general, nor his brutal cruelty
to his dead enemy, nor the selling of his body
to his father. We abhor these actions while
we read them; and what we abhor we never im¬
itate, The poet only shews them, like rocks
or quicksands, to be shunned.^
In the same way, Dryden makes a further distinction—a hero
may be of imperfect virtue and yet be poetically good: "... the
critics have concluded that it is not necessary the manners of
the hero should be virtuous. They are poetically good, if they
are of a piece: though, where a character of perfect virtue is
set before us, it is more lovely; for there the whole hero is to
13
be imitated," The distinction made between aesthetic perfection
and moral perfection was a dangerous one for Dryden's to make, but
he keeps the moral foundations of poetry intact by allowing the
actions and manners of epic heroes "to be shunned,"
The theory of negative moral example apparently subjected
Dryden to the censure of the moral watchdogs of his own day. The
cries of "libertine", "atheist", and "Hobbesian" aimed at Dryden
were based on evidence from the actions of his imperfect characters,
and upon the theory that poetry and drama, in particular, were to
present ideal models worthy of imitation. It was considered best
for public morality that the artist seek an imitative reaction


11
rather than demand the careful moral discernment called for in
selecting and rejecting "pernicious" actions.
A highly flammable point in the whole discussion about
the nature of the hero was the relationship of the hero to political
order, and Dryden's attempt to present an imperfect hero and the
dissolution of a particularly precarious "order" in Granada was so
completely misconstrued as to overshadow the character transformations
and the order that ultimately followed the dissolution, Almanzor's
relationship to order changes as he himself changes, and it is this
subtle shift that Dryden's critics missed—for them, Almanzor's
initial imperfections and his contributions to the disruptive tur¬
moils of Granada were sufficient evidence from which to deduce the
immorality of The Conquest of Granada. Dryden was conscious of the
'quaking earth' that he walked upon when the imperfectly controlled
passions of a flawed hero were to be depicted. By making heroic
distortion, change and conflict and the disorders they produced
one of the elements of a heroic play Dryden courted misunderstanding.
Twentieth century criticism has had the same difficulty
with Almanzor's huge imperfections and sometimes grotesque claims
to independence as did Dryden's contemporaries. Almanzor, as seen
by most critics, stands frozen in a slightly ridiculous posture
of defiance with the words, "I alone am King of me," issuing from
his lips. In his book, Dryden's Major Plays, Bruce King suggests
that the calculated reaction to Almanzor was to have been laughter,
a view valid only, it seems .to me, if we see Almanzor's almost comic
ability at self-distortion as his only stance. He is sometimes


12
obviously ridiculous in his estimations of his own powers, and these
distortions almost prove fatal to himself and others, but Almanzor's
self-image undergoes alteration as the play progresses, and this
change, among others, I think demands that we consider Almanzor as
more than a simple parody of the epic hero. On the other hand, Arthur
C. Kirsch, in Dryden's Heroic Drama, attempts to explain Almanzor and
his significance to the seventeenth century audience by discovering
a relationship between Corneille's theory of the hero and the theory
that went into the creation of Dryden's heroic warrior. Kirsch
attempts to establish a relationship between Almanzor's concept
of the freedom of human will and Corneille's concept which is iden¬
tified as la gloire, or, as he quotes Paul Benecheu, "the power
assumed by the ego in escaping all bondage," the virtue which "exists
at the point where the natural cry of pride encounters the sublime
14
of liberty." This concept of human freedom, however, remains
relevant to Almanzor only up to his encounter with his mother's
ghost and the beginnings of his doubts about his own concept of
human liberty.
In most cases, criticism has ignored the possibility of
a Restoration hero whose self-concept undergoes drastic alteration.
Only recently has John Winterbottom’s contention that Almanzor
experiences a highly complex process of "education"^ won the
admission that this Restoration hero in particular might be more
complex than a stereotype which can be explained simply in terms
of impossible conflicts between passion and honor, or seen as a
kind of popular seventeenth century super-hero who is merely a
grotesque exaggeration of the epic hero. This admission has opened


13
the door to the possibility that Dryden intended the portrait of
Almanzor to be, not only a dramatic criticism of the concept of the
egotistical, super-hero in both the heroic poem and the heroic
play, but, in addition, that the portrait was intended to depict
the evolution of the hero from primitive, pagan values to Christian
values.
Given the stereotype of the Restoration hero which has
been impressed on all Restoration heroic drama by many twentieth
century critics, it is not surprising that the total scope and sweep
of Dryden's vision has been obscured in readings of The Conquest
of Granada. According to the 'formula' readings, the heroic drama
is supposed to contain conflicts of honor vs. passion, or reason
vs. passion, and the place to look for such conflicts is in the
form of the debate. Consequently, each debate has been dissected
and re-dissected for the "meat" of the drama, resulting in a
neglect of the shifts in character and relationships which occur
in the play and lsnd it continuity. The Almanzor who argues with
King Boabdelin in Part I, Act I, scene i is not exactly the same
Almanzor speaking to King Ferdinand in Fart II, Act V, scene ii.
One cannot define Almanzor by extracting one or two debates or
isolated rodomontades. Almanzor is a creature of the world de¬
picted in The Conquest, and that world is subject to violent and
successive upheavals


Section II
It was necessary for Dryden to spell out in detail the
moral implications of each of the epic predecessors of The Conquest.
In keeping with the majority of the seventeenth century readings
of the Iliad, he places it in the moral spectrum of those pieces
of literature whose themes underscore a principle of order. George
Chapman's l6l6 dedication to the Earl of Somerset, placed before
the first edition of his translation of The Iliads, must have been
familiar to most seventeenth century admirers of this epic. Chapman’s
own estimation of the moral content of the Homeric epics was in
terms of the predominant charactei* of each of the heroes, Achilles
and Odysseus. Addressing Robert, Earl of Somerset, in a dedicatory
epistle to the Odyssey, Chapman summarizes the epics:
And that your lordship may in his
([Homer's[] Face, take view of his Minds the
first word of his Iliads, is tiryvtv, wrath;
the first word of his Cdysses, av6pg, Man:
contracting in either word, his each workes
Proposition. In one, Predominant Perturbation<
in the other, over-ruling Wjsedóme; in one,
the Bodies fervour and fashion of outward
Fortitude, to all possible height of Heroicall
Action; in the other, the Mindes inward,
constant and unconquered Empire; unbroken,
unaltered, with an^most insolent, and tyr¬
annous infliction
Order here is defined as the ideal condition of an inward kingdom,
Chapman makes a clear distinction between "outward Fortitude,"
14


15
leading to "Heroica!! Action,” am the mind's "inward, constant, and
unconquered Empire,” What Chapman means by the inward empire is
more clearly defined in the "Epistle Dedicatory" to The Iliads. As
is found in many dedications, Chapman both compliments his royal
patron and presents to him an ideal pattern for conduct. Dedicated
to "the High 3orne Prince of men, Henrie Thrice Royall inheritor
to the united kingdomss of Great Brittaine, &c,," the charge is
for the creation of the inward empire with the emphasis on the
blessedness that such a kingdom bestows:
Since perfect happiness, by Princes sought,
Is not with birth, borne, nor Exchequers bought;
Nor followes in great Traines; nor is possest
With any outward State; but makes him blest
That govemes inward; and beholdeth theare,
All his affections stand about him bare;
That by his power can send to Towre, and death,
All traitrous passions; marshalling beneath
His justice, his mere will; and in his minde
Holds such a scepter, as can keep confinde
His whole lifes actions in the royall bounds
Of Vertue and Religion; and their grounds
Takes in, to sow his honours, his delights
And complete empire: , , ,
The implied difference between the two epics, the one de¬
picting disorder, the other depicting the establishment of an ideal empire,
does not necessarily mean, however, that Chapman found Odysseus the
embodiment of absolute perfection throughout the whole of the work,
George de Forest Lord in his book, Homeric Renaissance: the Odyssey of
George Chapman, suggests that. Chapman, rather than presenting a
portrait of moral perfection in Odysseus, represents more what he
believed to be Homer's original concept by placing emphasis upon
the evolution of the hero towards the establishment of the interior


16
empire, concurring with his struggle to return to Ithaca:.
"Over-ruling Wisdome" and "the minds inward,
constant, and unconquere'd Empire" are not,
as they suggest, qualities which Chapman felt
characterized Ulysses throughout, but qualities
on which his successful return home and his
rehabilitation of Ithaca and his household
depend, . , . Chapman, in fact, has Ulysses
• as an emergent, dynamic character,, one beset
by passions that constantly threatened to
destroy him, but struggling through repeated
failure toward an ideal which he very gradually
discovered in the process, °
Chapman believed that Odysseus' journey to Ithaca and his as¬
sumption of his rightful place as king was meant to be an allegory
for the inward "journey" and the establishment of the inward empire.
Generally, Achilles, Odysseus' counterpart, was not viewed
in terms of any such evolutionary process; wrath was his constant
contribution toward the "Predominant Perturbation" which characterised
the landscape of the Iliad. And, as a work in which disorder seemed
to be the predominant state, it was sometimes difficult for seven¬
teenth. century critics to fit the Iliad into a moral spectrum;
Achilles' disruptive independence made him a problematic hero indeed.
Chapman's tendency to assert what he felt to be the moral
import of Homer's epics appealed to the seventeenth century. The
political and moral implications of the epic were of utmost importance
to seventeenth century critics, and the vehicle for their communication
was generally agreed to be the moral or "fable". For example, where
the epic was concerned, the combatants in the battle of the ancients
and the moderns used the fable to gauge the worth of the work of
art and the period that produced it. In a few instances the term


1?
"fable" came to mean more than a devised story; it indicated a story
or action with moral depth, Sven when a distinction was made between
fable (story) and moral, the relationship between the two was deemed
close indeed—so close that one is hardly mentioned without the
other, Francis Bacon thus defined "Poesy Parabolical": "That is,
when the Secrets and Mysteries of Religion, Pollicy, or Philosophy,
20
are involved in Fables or Parables," When Bacon maintained a dis¬
tinction between fable and moral, he claimsd that the fable (story)
came first and then the moral was devised, rather than the moral
21
providing the foundation upon which the story was framed, Rapin,
following Aristotle, listed the essential elements of the epic as
"Fables, Morality, Thoughts, and Words," There is a tendency,
however, for Rapin.to use "fable" in the sense that was to become
a part of seventeenth century critical jargon used in relation to
the epic: in the one word, "fable", there is combined the meanings
"story" and "moral". In relating the "fable" of the Iliad, Rapin
cannot resist inserting words and phrases highly suggestive of
the moral flaws which he felt marred the work:
The Fable of the Iliad is, that one of the
Chiefs of the Grecian Army, being dissatisfied
with the General, retires from the Camp,
without considering his Duty, or hearkening
to Reason, or the Advice of his Friends; and
deserts the Public Interest and that of the
State, to indulge a Surly Morose Humour,
and yield himself up to the Violence of his
Resentments: ...
Finding in Achilles all the flaws that were felt to characterize
the chaotic, barbarous age in which Homer wrote, Rapin judges


18
the Greek warrior in comparison with the ideal hero, Aeneas, and
finds him to be the representative anti-hero»
Let ns now make a Comparison between these
two Fables £the Iliad and the Aeneidl, and
measure the Grandeur of the two Heroes, by
that of their Actions, The Action of
Achilles, is destructive of his Country,
and of his own Party, as Homer Himself acknow¬
ledges: That of Aeneas, is of signal Ad¬
vantage and Glory to his Country; the Motive
of the former, is Passion; of the latter,
Vertue. The Action of Achilles, is occasion'd
by the Death of Patroclus, his best Friend;
The Action of Aeneas, by the Liberty he
endeavour'd to obtain for his Gods and his
Father, , . . The one is Heroick, that is,
above the ordinary Vertue of Man, for so
Aristotle defines Heroic Vertue in his Ethicks:
The other, is not so much as Rational, but
implies a Character of Brutality, which ac¬
cording to the same Aristotle, is a Vice
directly opposite to the Heroic Vertue; for
as the one is above lían, so the other is far
below him. ^
While admitting of Tasso's argument that the intent of
24
Homer was “but to shew us how prejudicial Discord is to any Party,"
Rapin cannot resist declaring the age of Homer as a kind of moral
Dark Ages in which "Moderation and Justice were Vertues not
25
known." Homer's great failing is seen by Rapin in terms of
Achilles' relationship with the Greek "party". Achilles' chief
characteristic is that he is "independent", a characteristic pre¬
judicial to the relationship between the work of art and the
society for which it was supposed to have been written in that it
encourages rebellion and discord. It was this very independence
of spirit found in Almanzor that drew enraged outcries from Dryden's
critics


19
Dryden's analysis of the fables of the Iliad and the
Aeneid were not far different from Rapin's, with one important
exceptions his conclusions concerning the moral impact of the Iliad
on Greek society. Dryden, following Le Bossur placed the moral
first in order of conception in the writing of an heroic poems
"The first rule which Bossu prescribes to the writer of an heroic
poem, and which holds too by the same reason in all dramatic poetry,
is to make the moral of the work} that is, to lay down to yourself
what that precept of morality shall be, which you would insinuate
into the people; as, namely, Homer's (which I have copied in my
'Conquest of Granada,') was, that union preserves a commonwealth,
and discord destroys it; , . .
Dryden readily assumes that all great epics were written,
at least in part, to a contemporary political situation and that
their purpose was to "insinuate" a moral. The practice of dedicating
epics to illustrious persons is taken as a case in point. A
writer could indirectly claim moral rectitude for his work by
dedicating it to a living, virtuous "prince." Virgil had set a
precedent by addressing his epic to Augustus, his emperor. The
relationship between the hero of the epic and the person to whom it
is dedicated is a delicate one; the literary hero is both modeled
after the living hero, and provides a model for the living to
emulate. The problem then in creating an imperfect hero and
dedicating the creation to a prince or person of authority is clears
the author is open to the criticism that he corrupts those he should
teach by good example. Wanting to retain both Virgil and Homer on


20
the side of the angels, in support of order, Dryden basically accepts
Tasso’s view of the moral relationship between the Greek states and
the Iliad: The Iliad taught the value of order by a moral negative,
illustrating the disadvantages of disorder. Dryden claimed, in the
"Dedication of the Aeneis," that the difference between Achilles
and Aeneas as epic heroes lay in the fact that the two epics spoke
to widely divergent political situations: the Greek states wer9 in
a maelstrom of political unrest during Homer's time, and his method
of instructing them was by negative example, setting forth the
"ruinous effects of discord," Agamemnon, the commanding power,
and Achilles, the executive power of the Greeks, are separated,
2?
and disorder results; both are at fault, and both are punished, '
Virgil, on the other hand, considering the political history of Rome,
chose to support the rule of Augustus by compliment and good ex¬
ample, Augustus both gains divine extraction through Aeneas and
finds in him the example of the perfect prince—upon the living
28
prince falls the burden of emulating the literary hero. At the
same time that a prince is supported, his people are inspired with
respect toward him, giving obedience to his rule, thereby obtaining
their own happiness. Both approaches were considered by Dryden
to be morally and artistically valid, each answering to a contemporary
political condition, each infusing a moral of political significance.
The difference lies in the method by which the end is obtained:
in the Aeneid the living (Augustus, the Roman people) are "shadowed
in the person of Aeneas"---they are uplifted and protected by his
larger virtues, his divine extraction—while Homer holds up a


21
mirror, reflecting chaos and warning destruction.
That Dryden had felt these moral distinctions much earlier
than the writing of the dedication to the Aeneid translation is
evident from the manner in which he chose to defend Almanzor in
the preface of The Conquest, but perhaps even more revealing of
his concept of the relationship between a literary moral and the
audience to which it was addressed is the dedicatory preface ad¬
dressed to James, then Duke of York. By dedicating his heroic play
to the heir of the English throne, Dryden commits the work to its
relationship with the state toward which he felt a moral respon¬
sibility. The political relationship established between The
Conquest and the contemporary English scene is a complex one.
Spain, a Christian -nation, proves, like England and Rome, to be
29
"inexorable to peace, till they have fully vanquished."
Almanzor's evolution into the warrior-arm of Christian Spain is not
entirely unlike that of England's James, whose "opening of . . .
glory was like that of light: You shone to us from afar; and
disclosed your first beams on distant nations: Yet so, that the
lustre of them was spread abroad, and reflected brightly on your
native country.Finally, the political relationship between
Achilles, Almanzor's literary model, and James, the living prince,
is explicitly established. The relationship has both a positive
and a negative aspect; Achilles' strength and courage as a warrior
are attributes to be desired in a prince, but his wrath and the
“perturbations" it gives rise to are to be avoided. After having
described James's victories in both Europe and in England's naval


22
wars, Dryden concludes that these actions reveal in "your royal
highness an extreme concernment for the honour* of your country"-^—
a compliment with an implied exhortation» the perfect prince must
always and foremost be concerned for the honor of his country.
James' place in the scheme of the state is then made clear; both
he and his brother, the king, hold in common this concernment for
their country, and their relationship within the structure of the
state is likened to what Dryden conceived as Homer's division of
power within the Greek alliance; "in your two persons are eminent
the characters which Homer has given us of heroic virtue; the
32
commanding part in Agamemnon, and the executive in Achilles,
Both perfection and imperfection are implied; both compliment and
warning seem intended. In Agamemnon and Achilles Dryden found the
perfect balance between commanding and executive power. It would
be difficult indeed, however, for a reader to forget that this
balance is destroyed in the initial action of the Greek epic.
Later, Dryden was to translate the first book of the Iliad in
which is recorded the disintegrating relationship between Agamemnon
and Achilles, and Nestor's attempt to reconcile the two before
the Greek party is disrupted. Nestor addresses Achilles;
The head of action he, and thou the hand, --
Matchless thy force; but mightier his commands: . . .
Both from the Greek model and from the play itself James is subtly
reminded just how precarious is the balance between commander
and executor, Agamemnon's and Achilles' falling out results in
momentary disaster for the Greek cause; Prince Abdalla, the brother


23
to King Boabdelin of Granada, plots to seize the throne, laying the
city open to conquest. The figure that James is to emulate, how¬
ever, is Almanzor. With all of his human imperfections and flights
of passion, Almanzor is the one to show a prince of the realm
that a hero can learn obedience. The Conquest of Granada deals with
disintegration,' warning England against domestic turmoils, but
it also depicts the establishment of order, based, in part, upon
the hero's changing self-concept, Almanzor accepts, in the last
scene of the play, the "executive" position under Ferdinand and
Isabella, the Christian monarchs of Spain. The play instructs
both by negative example, and by asserting a Christian concept
of heroic virtues.
The order established in the closing scenes of The
Conquest is peculiarly Christian, and perhaps one of the most
important sources for the concept of emerging order depicted in
the play are the Spanish histories of the conquest of Granada.
In these histories the Iliad's "fable" finds expression in an
explicitly Christian context. The conquest of the last Moorish
stronghold on Spanish soil by the Christian monarchs, Ferdinand
and Isabella, gave rise to a flood of romances, histories, and
"historia-mixta," a mixture of romance and history best exemplified
by Ginés Perez de Hita's Historia de las Guerras Civiles de Granada.
Were one to wish to find sources for Dryden's Conquest of Granada
it would seem more fruitful to look to the Spanish histories of
the Moors in Spain, and their depiction of the final triumph of
the Christian forces over.the Moors in Granada than to the Greek


24
epic or the French romances,
The three best known histories of the Spanish conquest
of Granada were those of Juan de Mariana (1536-1624), Louis
Turquet de Mayerne (d. l6l8), and Ginas Perez de Hita (1544?-l605?).
Summers has already pointed out that in total effect Dryden's play
is much closer in tone to de Rita's work than to de Scudery’s
version of the conquest:
The whole atmosphere of Las Guerras
Civiles is that of Dryden's vivid and mag- -
nificently impetuous drama which has little
in common with the stately periods and ermined
longueurs^ of Mile de Scudéry's leisurely
romance.^
The spirit of a city besieged, of weakness breeding disorder, and
disorder, conquest, the spirit of rebellion and heroism, and the
establishment of a Christian order is nowhere more evident than in
the several accounts of the conquest of Granada by Spanish
historians. While most of these elements may well be found in de
Scudéry's Almahide, they are so scattered and dispersed within the
vast confines of the work that the accumulative effect is rather
one of courtly panorama than intensive struggles between individuals
within a city, and between a city and its besiegers.
Dryden's life-long fascination with histories and his
professed admiration of certain historiographers is well-known.
History, he felt, was a wise and generous instructor of the present,
and the process of writing history was to be a kind of moral re¬
duction: "all history is only the precepts of moral philosophy
35
reduced into examples." As artist, Dryden was to further distill


25
the materials of the historian: the ten years which it took Spain
to conquer Granada becomes a few days; Moorish kings who were his¬
torically uncle and nephew become brothers; the Granada which
opened its gates to the Christians after lengthy negotiations is
conquered in a single pitched battle. The purpose here is not
simply to compile evidence of Dryden*s originality; the kind of
criticism which belaboured Dryden with a lack of inventiveness is
no longer acceptable, and the criticism which answered by compiling
evidence to the contrary is unnecessary. What emerges in extracting
the changes which Dryden made in the historical material is his
emphasis upon the themes of conquest and change. By telescoping
historical events, shifting relationships, increasing the sense of
a city besieged from without and filled with political dissention
and love-intrigue within, Dryden intensifies the sense of disorder
and change which permeates the Spanish histories. In the play, war
is the encompassing action, a besieged city the setting, and only
Ferdinand and Isabella are exempt from the general disorder and
conflicts: brother is pitted against brother, sons against fathers,
daughter against father, lover against mistress, husband against
wife, family against family. Nowhere within Granada can one escape
conflict—nothing remains unchanged.
What may have attracted Dryden to the Spanish histories
was the presence of the very themes of conquest and order which
he found acceptable for the epic nature of heroic drama. The moral
which Dryden found in the Iliad was the same historical moral which
the Spanish historians drew from the events surrounding Granada


26
in the fifteenth century: discord destroys from within—an aphorism
Dryden found to be time of individual men as well as of cities and
nations. The reiterated theme of most of the historical and semi-
historical accounts of the conquest of the Moors was expressed by
Juan de Mariana in his Historia General de España, first published
in Latin in 1592, then translated into Spanish under the patronage
of Spain's Philip III, After describing the political struggle
taking place within Granada, between first Boabdil and his father,
Albohacen, and then between Boabdil and his uncle, Albohardil,
Mariana observes: "The Kingdom of the Moores decayed apace: Civil
Discord consumed them no less than the Enemy abroad.From the
evidences of discord, Lewis Turquet de Mayeme, whose Generali
Historie of Spaine was translated into English in 1612, concluded:
"These seditious changes were ordinary, and have alwaies beene
amongst the Arabians, who are inconstant, treacherous, ravishing
37
and ambitious, if there be any living," Generally, however, the
Moorish seditions and disorders were not attributed simply to the
"nature" of the Moor, but to his lacking Divine Grace. For the
Catholic writers of the history of the conquest of Granada, disorder
was not (as Hobbes would have it) a "natural" state of mankind;
it was the result of the absence of Divine Order permeating and
informing the temporal sphere. The Spanish histories, as a whole,
are concerned with representing the historical manifestations of
Divine Will: the "fable" underlying the histories is not simply that
discord reaps destruction, but that Providence brings order out of
discord through the instrument of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.


27
The role of the Christian monarchs was to bring a semblance or
reflection of Divine Order to pagan Granada. Mariana describes
Ferdinand and Isabella's entrance into Granada as the initiation
of a kind of Divine dispensation: their restoring and ordering
powers are most important in the historian's account:
King Ferdinand and Queen Elizabeth [Isabella]
being richly clothed, in the prime of their
Age, and having conquered that Kingdom
[Granada], seemed to appear more Majestick
than before: They shined above all others,
and were equal to themselves. Every one
looked upon them as more than Human, and sent
from Heaven for the Glory of Spain, It was
they that restored Justice, which before them
was corrupted, enacting excellent Laws for
the publick Benefit. They settled Religion,
restored Peace, and enlarged their Territories,
not only in Spain, but at the same time in
the utmost Bounds of the World.3°
For Dryden, also, true conquest becomes synonymous with
the reestablishment of order and Justice. With the conquest of
Granada in 1492, the cross supplanted the cresent for the last time
in Spain; however, it was established, not by a sudden dis¬
pensation of peace, but accomplished only after ten years of war,
fratricide, regicide, treason, rebellion, and general destruction.
The sense one gains from the Spanish histories is that of nations
conquered, governments supplanting one another, flux and violent
conflict on all sides, but the chord which is struck time and again
is that of the controlling power of Providence. Cities are conquered,
are built again and expand under the Christian monarchs. To miss
this same sense of the cycle of destruction, change, restoration
and expansion in Dryden's play and its significance in the portrait


28
of the hero, A Imanaor, is to miss the core of the drama


NOTES
1
Anonymous, The Censure of the Rota. On Mr, Driden's
Conquest of Granada (Oxford, 1673), pp, 13-14.
2
Ibid., p. 2.
3
"Of Heroic Plays," The Complete Works of John Dryden,
ed. Scott and Saintsbury (London, 1882), Vol, IV, p, 26, Here¬
after to be referred to as Works.
4
Gaultier de Coste La Calprenlde, Hymen’s Praeludia:
or. Love’s Masterpiece, . . . rendered into English by Robert
Loveday (London, I087), p. 181,
5
Ibid., p. 186,
6
"Of Heroic Plays," Works, Vol. IV, p. 28.
Dryden: The Dramatic Works, 9d. Montague Summers
(London, 1932), Vol, III, p. 5» Jerome Schweitzer in his book,
Georges de Scudery's Alsahide: Authorship, Analysis, Sources
and Structure (London, 1936), places the work in the canon of
Georges de Scudlry and his wife, Marie, It was generally con¬
sidered to be the work of Kadelene de Scudlry, his sister, writing
under the pseudonym of Georges de Scudlry.
8
Georges de Scudlry, Almahide , . . Done into English
by J, Phillips . , . (London, 1677)» p. 53*
9
"Dedication of the Aeneis," Works, Vol, XIV, p, 143.
10
Ren! Rapin, "A Comparison of Homer & Virgil," The
Whole Critical Works of Monsieur Rapin . • , (London, 1716),
Vol, I, p. 123> hereafter referred to as Critical Works.
29


30
n
"Dedication of the Aeneis," Works, Vol, XIV, p, 129.
12
Ibid., p. 136-137.
13
Ibid., p. 137.
14
Paul Benecheu, Morales du C-rand Siecle (Paris, 1948),
as quoted by Kirsch, Dryden's Heroic Drama (Princeton, 1964), p, 52,
15
John Winterbottom, "The Development of the Hero in
Dryden's Tragedies," JEGP, III (1953). 161-173.
16
Kirsch, p. 6l,
17
The Poems of George Chapman, ed. Phillis Brooks
Bartlett (New York, 1962), p, 4oé.
18
Ibid., p. 335.
19
George de Forest Lord, Homeric Renaissance: The Odyssey
of George Chapman (New Haven, 1956), p. 41,
20
"Advancement of Learning," Critical Essays of the 17th
Century, ed. Joel Elias Spingarn (Oxford, 1908), Vol._I, p. 7.
21
Ibid., p. 8.
22
René Rapin, "A Comparison of Homer & Virgil," Critical
Works, Vol. I, p, I23.
23
Ibid., p. 124.
24
Ibid., p. 127.
25t
Ibid., p. 129.
26
"Preface to Troilus and Cressida," Works, Vol. VI, p, 266.


31
27
"Dedication of the Aeneis," Works, Vol, XIV, p, 1^7.
28^
The significance of classical allusions and the double
edge to Dryden's compliments to public figures is explored in several
of his dedications by Arthur W, Hoffman in his book, John Dryden’s
Imagery (Gainesville, 1962), See especially the chapter, "An
Apprenticeship in Praise,"
29
"Dedication to the Duke of York," Works, Vol, IV, p, 15,
30
Ibid., p, 12,
31
Ibid,, p, 15,
32
Ibid,
33
"Fables Ancient and Modem,” Works, Vol. XII, p, 388.
34
Drydens The Dramatic Works, ed. Montague Summers
(London, 193*2), Vol, III, p, 8.
"Life of Plutarch," Works, Vol. XVII, p. 61.
36
Juan de Mariana, The General History of Spain (London,
1699), p. ^48.
Lewis Turquet de Mayerne, The General Historie (London,
1612), Book 18, p, 692.
38
Mariana, op. cit,, p, 458.


CHAPTER II
DESTRUCTION
* *
The list of major characters in The Conquest of Granada
may easily be divided into two groups: those who survive to begin
a new life and those who are destroyed. To the first group belong
Almanzor, Almahide, Ozmyn, Benzayda, Abenamar and Selin; to the
latter group belong Boabdelin, Abdalla, Zulema, Lyndaraxa and Abdel-
melech. In the play, survival and new life is the end of a process
of change which involves an acknowledgement of values beyond the
self, while destruction is the end of a chain of violent endeavors
to achieve fulfillment of selfish and destructive desires—revenge,
power and lust being the three most virulent of these desires. Both
the survival and the destruction are indications of a process of
providential justice which Dryden himself admitted was not always
realized in the actual affairs of individual men,'*' The final
ritual of Granada's surrender and the gathering together of the
characters who have learned the lessons of love, mercy and forgive¬
ness is, like most ceremonial endings of this type, emblematic of
an order which originates in the divine will and ideally permeates
the society of men. To call this literary manipulation simply
"poetic justice", however, does not convey the complexity of char-,
acterization which is present in Dryden*s two-part heroic play.
The characters are far from static; motivation, self-will, conflict,
32


33
and change form complex patterns for the most prominent inhabitants
of the Moorish city of Granada. The patterns are so complex as
to be impossible to examine except by what at first may appear to
be a sweeping division into the two groups mentioned above. The
min concern of this chapter will be the group of major characters
whose courses of action lead them to destruction.
For the most part, it becomes impossible to discuss the
motivations of such characters as Lyndaraxa, Abdalla, Abdelmelech,
Boabdelin, Zulema and A Imana or without discussing also their
relation with or attitudes toward fortune. At one point, fortune
vaguely appears to be auspicious happenings and fate becomes the ill
that befalls, while, at another, fortune becomes the changing,
fickle goddess, with fate connoting a more stable, unchanging,
destiny. The attitudes toward fortune in particular vary widely,
and it would seem that there is little or no consistency that would
aid in pin-pointing a specific definition of fortune which works
for the entire play. The appeals to fortune appear at first to be
merely "signs" indicating that this particular character or that
is a pagan, but as individual characters are examined more closely,
it is discovered that each character has his own particular concept
of fortune and his relationship to the goddess. By some, fortune
is endured as an all-powerful goddess, while Almanzor, for one,
would forge his own fortune and fate; Zulema argues that one can
“make" his own fortune, while Lyndaraxa, in spite of her desperate
plottings, must wait upon the fortunes of others to implement her
own will. There is, however, one over-riding consistency that evolves


3^
from the uses of fortune in the play—both those who rely upon
physical prowess and cunning to overcome fortune and. those who
faithfully attempt to wait upon her are doomed in their endeavors.
Those who discover some kind of stabilizing power through love form
a surviving remnant of Granada's population which becomes the
foundation of the new Granada under Ferdinand and Isabella.
In order to understand the various uses of fortune within
The Conquest, some of the fluctuations and inconsistencies in
the meaning of fortune in its long history must be reviewed. One
thing becomes clears as a goddess, Fortuna has never had a completely
clear-cut character; she has appeared in Roman literature in
fragmented forms as a goddess of individuals, cities, states, and
various aspects of. human endeavor—harvest, marriage, childbirth,
war and love. As Howard RoHin Patch points out in his study of
Fortuna, she assumes, quite early in her history, the character
of chance and arbitrary inconsistency with which she became
2
traditionally associated. There is quite a list of adjectives
derived by Mr, Patch from early Roman writers describing her as
various, fleeting, fickle, blind (rewarding and punishing without
regard to moral order), inconstant, harlot, untrustworthy, capricious,
mobile, transitory. Many of the symbols associated with her reflect
her instability—the sphere, the wheel, wings. In the role of a
goddess of arbitrary sway, she becomes the embodiment of the element
of chance in human affairs—in most cases she becomes the embodiment
of the only element of chance in an otherwise orderly and pre¬
dictable universe, or she is representative of what merely appears


35
to be chance. According to this view if man could only see into
the mysteries of the universe, he would see that chance and arbitrary
fortune do not, in reality, exist. Whether real or not, however,
she becomes inexorably linked with the problem of the conflict
between free will and fate or divine edict. Patch describes fate
as generally presented in opposition to Fortuna's inconsistent nature;
fate is the "personification of the inflexible and unchanging destiny,"^
But as the attributes of Fortuna are traced through the history of
literature, definite inconsistencies in her role appear, and the
distinctions between fate and Fortuna become less absolute,
H, V, Canter finds that fate, destiny, outcome, will of the deity
4
or deities all. become mixed with the idea of fortune.
From these studies of Fortuna, it is not difficult to
discern that fortune was rarely accorded absolute rule; she is
usually subordinated to a more powerful deity or deities, and has
but limited sway, or, at the most, unlimited sway over a carefully
limited realm. However limited her sway, she inevitably comes into
contact and conflict with the will of mankind—her kingdom is
usually that very ground over which nan struggles to effect his
will. As a result, man is constantly attempting to impose some
kind of stability favorable to his own desires in a realm where
unpredictable Fortuna reigns, The question which inevitably arose
was: can man, by his will, overcome fortune? The answers, as
Patch describes them, were various. Host philosophers and poets
advised a way to weather the storms of fortune rather than urging
the usurpation of her power. Basically the three solutions usually


3 6
offered are as follows s 1) The use of the virtues of patience and
fortitude while they will not control, will help man to ride out
fortune's violent changes; 2) Man should oppose the intellect
to fortune's seeming disorder. He is urged to apply his reason
and prudence; 3) No faith should be placed in fortune's favor
nor should man despair at her displeasure—her gifts are external,
not moral: "She was not the goddess of the soul, but of worldly
interests alone.Of course, the very fact that there were ways,
suggested by philosophers and poets, to survive fortune's ca¬
pricious will implies that there was a recognition of a superior
order which encompassed and ultimately abrogated all fluctuations
of the more temporal Fortuna.
The Christian faith's confrontation with the legacy of
a pagan Fortuna resulted in three basic reactions, most of them re¬
lated to the Roman solutions to Fortuna: l) Rejection of the
concept of fortune: given a rational universe, Fortuna is incompre¬
hensible. She is either relegated to the demon underworld, becomes
a convenient expression for the "hidden causes" of the universe,
as in Aristotle, or is rejected altogether. 2) Compromise:
Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy is the main source for this
particular position. Fortune is recognized as a temporal and,
therefore, limited force. She can only given those gifts which
are not ultimately valuable; only God dispenses the ultimate good.
The Christian is advised to "bear with equal mind the yoke of
Fortune,"^ keeping in mind that, paradoxically, good fortune can
hide evil, and bad fortune can lead to ultimate good. Providence


37
is the encompassing order in the universe. 3) Christian Fortuna:
Fortuna was included by Dante as an angelic power, obeying ul¬
timately the will of God, a final step which Boethius does not
explicitly take in his Christianization of Fortuna.
Dryden's own attitude toward fortune is rather difficult
to sift from among his writings. References to fortune and fate
most often appear as dramatic utterances revealing the state of
mind of a character rather than Dryden's own views on the subject.
He was, of course, familiar with the uses of fortune -and fate in
the Roman writers whom he ultimately translated, and there are
two strains in Roman literature that attracted Dryden: the first
presents specific alternatives offered to the worship of fortune,
the second deals with the temporal limitations of fortune's reign.
Both strains are to be found in Juvenal. In his "Tenth Satire,"
Juvenal describes the fulfillment of men's fondest desires; riches,
honors, fame and longevity, lían proves, however, to be a poor
judge indeed when it comes to choosing that which is ultimately
good for him? a greater wisdom is necessary to manage man's
affairs. The satirist concludes with the following advice:
'Nil ergo optabunt homines?' si consilium vis,
permittes ipsis expenderá numinibus, quid
conveniat nobis rebusque sit utile nostris.
nam pro iucundis aptissima quaeque dabunt di.
carior est tills homo, quam sibi. ncs animorum
inpulsu et caeca magnaque cupidine ducti
coniugium petiraus partumque uxoris; at illis
noturn, qui pueri qualisque futirá sis uxor,
ut tamen et poseas aliquid voveasque sacellis
exta et candiduli divina tomacula porci,
orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpora sano,
fortem posee animum, mortis terrors carentem,.
qui spatium vitae extremum inter muñera ponat


38
naturae, qui ferre queat quoscumque labores,
nesciat irasci, cuplat nihil et potiores
Herculis aeruranas credat saevosque labores
et Venere et cenis et plum Sardanapalli,
monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare, semita certe
tranquillae per virtutem paten única vitae,
nullum numen babes, si sit prudentia; nos ta
nos facimus, Fortuna, deam caeloque locamus.'
Dryden's translation of the last two lines comes near to making
fortune merely a figment of a fool's imaginations
Fortune was never worshipped by the wise g
But, set aloft by fools, usurps the skies. -
In Dryden's Christian universe, such a usurpation reflects the folly
of men who cannot comprehend the divine wisdom which ultimately
directs and orders the universe,
Horace advises resignation, but makes fortune a powerful
temporal reality. He includes many of the epithets traditionally
associated with her:
Fortuna saevo laeta negotio et
lundum isolentem ludere pertinax
transmutat incertos honores,
nunc mihi, nunc alii benigna,
laudo manentem; si celeris quatit
pinnas, resigno quae didit et mea
virtute me involvo probamque q
pauperiem sine dote quaero.
Many.of the traditional concepts of fortune with which
Dryden was familiar throughout most of his life find expression, in
some form or another, in The Conquest. Fortune and fate are not
simply superficial trappings for the play, but are an important
part of an over-all theme of change, of loss and gain. Inextricably


39
bound up in the confrontation with the forces of fortune and fate
are the themes of self-interest, and self-sacrifice. Self-interest
provides the basic motivation for a significant segment of The
Conquest*s characters: lyndaraxa, Zulema, Abdalla, Boabdelin,
and, for a time, Altnanzor. Only Almanzor learns the lesson of
self-sacrifice and survives, the rest are destroyed.
It is this group of characters in particular which has
led at least one critic in the past to attempt to place Dryden in
Hobbes* theoretical eamp.^ By some critical magic, Dryden's
villains become the spokesmen for both Dryden and Hobbes, making
the two men advocates of a concept of self-interest which leads to
rebellion and disorder. Fortune and self-interest can provide,
in a small way, a touchstone for understanding Dryden's position
in relation to Hobbes* theories. Hobbes had fixed the motivation
of self-interest as the very basis of civil order. As Louis Teeter
points out, "If it could be shown that enlightened self-interest
demanded absolute obedience, he Qíobbesj would be striking at the
11
root of most sedition and social unrest."
Most who have read Hobbes are familiar with his basic
psychology: one apprehends through the senses and is either at¬
tracted to an object viewed or shuns it, depending upon the good
or ill that one apprehends will come from it. The will is next
brought into play, and one acts on the basis of either desire
(attraction) or hatred (repulsion). The manner in which civil
order is achieved is similar to the process leading an individual
to a desired object: many apprehend that unification under some


40
form of government is desirable} their desires and their wills
agreeing, a unity of action and effect is achieved: "When the
wills of many concur to one and the same action and effect, this
concourse of their wills is called consent? by which we must not
understand one will of many men, . . . but many wills to the pro-
12
ducing of one effect," Thus unity is achieved through an agree¬
ment of basic interests, Hobbes does not assume that men will
always agree: contention and disorder result “when the wills of
two divers men produce such actions as are reciprocally resistant
one to the other, this is called contention; and being upon the
persons one of another, battle: whereas actions proceeding from
consent, are mutual aid." Hobbes does assume, however, that
the basic unity of wills producing a single effect is, by virtue
of second causes, in harmony with the divine will. The neatness
of Hobbes' chain of cause and effect leaves no room for the ir¬
rationality of a goddess of fortune. In his famous argument with
Bishop Bramhall concerning predestination and free will, Hobbes
insists that man's will is not of his own disposing: ", . , I
conceive that nothing taketh beginning from itself, but from the
action of some other immediate agent without itself. And there¬
fore, when first a man hath a appetite or will to something, to
which immediately before he had no appetite nor will, the cause of
his will, is not the will itself, but something else not in his
14
own disposing." Simply by pursuing the chain of cause and effect
back along its links, man "shall at last come to this, that there
must be, even as the heathen philosophers confessed, one first


41
mover; that is, a first, and an eternal cause of all things;
which is that which men mean by the name of God: and all this
without thought of their fortune; the solicitude whereof, both
inclines to fear, and hinders them from the search of the causes
of other things; and thereby gives occasion of feigning of as
many gods, as there by men that feign them.For Hobbes, Fortune
takes on an ominous shape—she is ignorance personified. Speaking
of the Gentiles' many gods, Hobbes mentions among them the goddess
of Fortunes "They invoked their own ignorance, by the name of
Fortune."16
Both Dryden and Hobbes agree that fortune is the goddess
of those who are unable to apprehend the real order in the universe;
they both agree that order and stability are the ultimate virtues
to be attained in civil society. Dryden, however, remained skeptical
of man's ability to produce an order based upon self-interest.
The villainous group of characters in The Conquest of Granada
reflect this basic skepticism, and Dryden was willing, in some
instances, to exaggerate and distort Hobbes-like theories of self-
interest in order to make his point, Dryden probably realized
that Hobbes would have been appalled at a theory of self-interest
which carries its practitioners into rebellion and regicide, but,
as any skillful debator would know, to carry the opponent's theories
to their logical conclusions is the quickest, not necessarily the
fairest, way to prove their indefensability.
That Dryden's treatment of the characters surrounding
Lyndaraxa in many ways reflects a concern with the problems of


motivations of self-interest, order and divine will is not to say,
however, that he necessarily wrote the play to specifically refute
Hobbes, Both Hobbes and Dryden were concerned with the problems
of order, but Dryden's concerns appear dramatically in the form
of clashes of self-interest, violent change, and conquest. For
at least one group of characters, the goddess of self-interest,
Fortune, becomes a dangerous and destructive power when she is
allowed to "usurp the skies;" Dryden basically aligns himself
with the Christian tradition which makes fortune a symbol of man's
blindness to truth, specifically, providential truth, Hobbes
also sees the worship of fortune as ignorance, except that the truth
that fortune blinds one to is his universe of cause and effect—
a universe which he attempted, with little success in light of
his contemporaries' tendencies to classify Hobbes as an aetheist,
to assert as the creation of a "corporeal" God.
Possibly the most consistent and, therefore, most obvious
characterization of self-interest in The Conquest is that to be
found in Lyndaraxa. Most of the characters who are ultimately
destroyed find their destinies radically affected by hers Zulema,
her brother, dies defending a lie concocted by Lyndaraxa; Abdalla
dies in single combat with Abdelmelech, his rival for Lyndaraxa's
favor; Boabdelin is slain in battle "by a Zegry hand" after
Lyndaraxa has shifted Zegry support to the Christians; Abdelmelech
stabs himself after bringing about Lyndaraxa's death. The ambitious
woman who effects such destruction, while a terribly consistent
character, is not a simple one. Soon after her first entrance,


43
Lyndaraxa reveals the basic desire which motivates her every moment
throughout the play. She has "seen/This day, what 'tis to hope to
be a queen," Observing the attention and flattery paid Almahide,
she declares:
These are but half the charms of being great;
I would be somewhat, that I know not yet: -
Yes.' I avow the ambition of my soul,
To be that one to live without control!
And that's another happiness to me,
To be so happy as but one can be.
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
In order to be free from all control she must be queen, and this
"happiness" can be possessed by only one. Even Abdalla, who becomes
her most abject slave, acknowledges the basis of all her actions:
'Tis plain that she, who, for a kingdom, now
Would sacrifice her love, and break her vow,
Not out of love, but interest, acts alone,
And would, even in my arms, lie thinking of a throne.
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
Self-interest is also the motivating force behind Lyndaraxa's
brother, Zulema, who acts the seducer to Abdalla's already weakened
virtue. What Lyndaraxa begins with her beauty, Zulema completes
with his ready tongue; to every objection Abdalla raises to his
securing of a throne and a mistress, Zulema counters with an argu¬
ment. When Abdalla objects that "Reason was given to curb our
headstrong will," Zulema readily returns, "Reason but shows a weak
physician's skill" (Part I, Act II, sc, i). Zulema disposes of
peace of mind, justice, and honor by emphasizing the compensating
pleasures and power which will be gained try possessing the crown.


44
Only one last objection is made: Abdalla retreats under the pro¬
tection of fate. Had fate so willed, Abdalla "without a crime, the
crown had worn."' But Zulema does not allow Abdalla the refuge
of fate—a refuge, he argues, for weak men only:
Kan makes his fate according to his mind.
The weak low spirit fortune makes her slave;
But she’s a drudge when hectored by the brave:
If fate weaves common thread, she'll change the doom,
And with new purple spread a nobler loom.
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
Abdalla is won; the next step he takes is to "will" the throne.
Zulema then reveals that he, too, is in love’s power and is "in
it unfortunate as" Abdalla—from this point to the end of the scene,
Zulema and Abdalla stress their newly formed alliance and the unity
of their desires by using collective pronouns, Abdalla announces:
"Our loves and fortunes shall together go;/Thou shall be happy,
when I first am so," Zulema returns in the same vein, enjoining
Abdalla to unite his cause with that of the Zegrys:
The Zegrys at old Selin’s house are met,
Where, in close council, for revenge they sit:
There we our common interests will unite;
You their revenge shall own, and they your right¿
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
Love, desire for power, and revenge are united, and the means
for their realization is rebellion, war and regicide. The al¬
liance is completed when Almanzor is made an unwitting pawn to
effect the desires of Zulema, Abdalla, and Lyndaraxa. Zulema
plots like a good Machiavellian stage villain; while Zulema and
Abdalla use "wisdom" and cunning to plot their course, they must


have Almanzor to lend the lion's strength to their cunnings
Zulemas The bold are but the instruments o' the wise;
They undertake the dangers we advises
And, while our fabric with their pains we raise,
We take the profit, and pay them with praise.
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
The forces are clearly drawn ups Lyndaraxa, Zulema,
Abdalla, the Zegrys as a whole, and Almanzor against Boabdelin,
Love, desire for power, and revenge, however, prove to be uneasy
bedfellows. Each member of the conspiracy has his own interest at
stake, each has his own desires to fulfill. Soon after victory
the alliance begins to fall apart when Almanzor's desire to revenge
his injured honor is superseded by his new found love for Almahide,
In loving Almahide Almanzor discovers he comes in conflict with
Zulema's own desire to have her. Zulema reminds Abdalla, who is
now in a position to dispense favors, that "You swore our fortunes
should together go." Abdalla, thus reminded of the pact made with
the brother of Lyndaraxa, awards Almahide to Zulema, sending
Almanzor in a fury to revive the chances of Boabdelin's besieged
forces. There, another alliance of “interests" is made. Boabdelin
wishes tc recover his throne and Almahide; Almanzor, once again,
has an injury to revenge and, now, Almahide to fight for. He warns
Boabdelin that "Injured again, again I'll leave your side;" how¬
ever, "Since, then, your foes now happen to be mine,/Though not
in friendship, we'll in interest joins/So while my loved revenge
is full and high,/I'll give you back your kingdom by the by”
(Fart I, Act IV, sc, i), Almanzor brings victory to his new ally


46
only to discover that he and Boabdelin desire the same thing—
Almahide. In the ensuing conflict, Almanzor is overcome, and to
save his life Almahide agrees to send him away and marry Boabdelin,
Not one goal of any of the uneasy alliances is completely
realized at the end of Part I: Boabdelin has his throne and •
Almahide, but his rebellious brother is still alive, threatening
overthrow; Lyndaraxa controls the fortress of the Albaj^zyn, re¬
fusing to open to Abdalla or Abdelmelech until certain as to which
will best serve her ends; Zulema has lost Almahide and the battle;
Abdalla has been refused sanctuary by the faithless Lyndaraxa,
and Almanzor is banished¿ There is a temporary respite from war
at the end of Part I as Boabdelin declares that the affairs of
state shall wait on love. The precarious peace will soon be
destroyed, however, and "empire's weary toil" (Part I, Act V,
sc. ii) resumed. Not one of the alliances of interests results
in stability. Part I has been a record of shifting loyalties,
betrayals, fermenting rebellion, and the frustration of all human
desires. To borrow a phrase from the criticism of baroque art,
a "precarious balance" that momentarily threatens to dissolve
into civil chaos is all that can be achieved.
In such a world, of course, the only appropriate deity
to worship is Fortune. For the most part, Fortune has traditionally
been associated with human affairs as they are concerned with the
gain of property, money, power, and fame. Fortune, in The Conquest,
is inextricably linked in the minds of its characters with what
is termed their "interests". In order to possess Almahide, Zulema


must bend fortune and fate to his own will, with cunning as his
means. In order to win Lyndaraxa, Abdalla must "prove fortunate"
and is convinced by Zuleraa that he can "make" his own fortune.
Almanzor, in his threats to Abdalla, promises to "whistle thy
tame fortune” after him, and "whirl fate with me whereso'er I
fly” (Part I, Act III, sc. i). Lyndaraxa, however, is most
closely linked with fortune and fate in the play? indeed, she
takes on many of the characteristics of dame Fortune herself.
While her avowed desire for absolute freedom remains constant,
Lyndaraxa shifts and maneuvers—her safety lies in the fact that
she never stays rooted on the same ground. In order to keep up
with shifting fortune, she herself must be constantly moving.
Abdelmelech tells her, "That heart, which could so easily remove,/
Was never fixed, nor rooted deep in love” (Part I, Act III, sc. i).
She seem?i to follow Machiavelli's infamous advice to those who
would be fortunate to change with the changing times? she follows
fearfully every shift in the fortunes of her two lovers and, like
Ovid's Fortuna, is constant in her very inconsistency:
Passibus ambiguis Fortuna volubilis errat
et manet in nullo certa tenaxque loco:
sed modo laeta venit; vultus modo sumit acerbos?
et tantum constans in levitate sua est, '
In some instances, Lyndaraxa assumes whatever relationship
to fortune she deems advantageous for the occasion. Since Abdalla
is the closest to the throne, Lyndaraxa hopes that fortune will
favor him, and at one point eagerly rushes out to assume the very
pose of Fortune, choosing, of course, to smile upon her lover:


« . . like his better fortune I'll appear,
With open arms, loose veil, and flowing hair
Just flying forward from my rolling spheres
My smiles shall make Abdalla more than man;
Let him look up, and perish if he can,
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
But when Fortune becomes "malicious," Lyndaraxa claims to be its
foe. She Justifies her refusal to offer Abdalla sanctuary from
his pursuing foes by claiming to have acted as the protectress of
his future:
When your malicious fortune doomed your fall,
My care restrained you then from losing all;
Against your destiny I shut the gate,
And gathered up the shipwrecks of your fate;
I, like a friend, did even yourself withstand,
From towing all upon a losing hand,
(Part II, Act II, sc, ii)
Strangely enough, Lyndaraxa possesses the soaring ambitions
of an Almansor, but seems, for the most part, unable to facilitate
her own desires; she must place her hopes in the revolving fortunes
of her two lovers, Abdalla and Abdelmelech. Unlike Almanzor, she
is never certain that she can control fortune. She desperately
seeks, however, for some kind of certainty or predictability in a
universe ruled by fortune. Before she makes a commitment, she
desires to be sure that the ground will not shift again. While
holding Abdelmelech in hopes of her love, Lyndaraxa watches Abdalla's
fortunes: "I will attend till time this throne secure;/And, when
I climb, my footing shall be sure,—" (Part I, Act IV, sc, ii).
In an earlier soliloquy she has already declared her desire for
certainty in her quest for freedom from control:


49
0» could I read the dark decrees of fate.
That I might once know whom to love, or hate
For I myself scarce my own thoughts can guess,
So much I find them varied by success.
As in some weather-glass, my love I hold}
Which falls or rises with the heat or cold, -
I will be constant yet, if Fortune can;
I love the king, - let her but name the man,
(Part I, Act IV, sc, ii)
It is not in fortune's nature, however, to be constant. While
complaining of the incomprehensible fluctuations, of fortune,
Lyndaraxa will not abandon her pursuit of the crown for any alter¬
native that appears less desirable than complete freedom from
control. She expresses awareness of one of the alternatives
religion offers the dependence upon fortune, but the life recommended
does not suit Lyndaraxa's ambitious souls
0, how unequally in me were joined
A creeping fortune with a soaring mind,'
0 lottery of fate where still the wise
Draw blanks of fortune, and the fools the prize,'
These cross, ill-shuffled lots from heaven are sent,
Yet dull Religion teaches us content;
But when we ask it where that blessing dwells,
It points to pedant colleges, and cells;
There shows it rude, and in a homely dress,’
And that proud want mistakes for happiness.
(Part II, Act III, sc, ii)
Following Lyndaraxa thus far through all her machinations
and turnings, one finally comes to this terrible sense of frustrated
desire for power and stability, Lyndaraxa is entrapped by her own
desire for absolute freedom fron control; she cannot escape the
fortune upon which she depends to achieve her goal. While Abdalla
and Abdelmelech vie for her favor and fight each other—one to
gain the throne, the other to protect it for Boabdelin—Lyndaraxa


50
watches, hoping to either catch fortune's drift and ride it to the
top, or step out upon a secure throne to enjoy the fruits of Abdalla's
good fortune. She is willing to take whatever path fortune shows
her, and there is no room in her fortune-ruled world for fixed
affections} freedom for Lyndaraxa means the absence of all forms
of servitude, including love. The one confrontation she has with
Almanzor points out the vast difference between Lyndaraxa's definition
of freedom, and that which Almanzor is learning. Seeing that
Almanzor is apparently "wedded" to fortune, Lyndaraxa. attempts to
gain certainty by gaining Almanzor. She promises to "free"
Almanzor from love of Almahide and show him "a more pleasing shape
of love," but x*uns into unexpected opposition—constancy. Although
his love for Almahide seems hopeless, Almanzor cannot be won by an
argument to the effect that his is a "sad, sullen, froward Love"2
Almanzor. I, in the shape of Love, Despair did see;
You, in his shape, would show Inconstancy.
(Part II, Act III, sc. iii)
Lyndaraxa counters with reasons for trying the "effects of change,"
but Almanzor is already upon a path that he has but recently entered,
and has freed some part of himself from fortune's vacillations by
accepting the "bounds of love":
Though Almahide with scorn rewards my care, -
Yet, than to change, 'tis nobler to despair.
Ky love's my soul; and that from fate is free;
*Tis that unchanged and deathless part ,of me.
(Part II, Act.Ill, sc, iii)
Having failed to win Almanzor, or more importantly, his good fortune,


51
Lyndaraxa returns to try to catch at Abdalla and Abdelmelech's
revolving fortunes, only to find Abdalla slain by his rival, and
Abdelmelech removed from her power by his observations of her "in¬
constant and ambitious mind" (Part II, Act IV, sc, ii).
Like many of Dryden's villainesses, Lyndaraxa is complex
in her evil. She worships dame Fortune and partakes of some of
her attributes} she possesses a "soaring mind", but is hampered
by her inability to effect her own will. She is a. Machiavellian
in her understanding of power, a perverted Hobbesian in her pursuit
of self-interest, and she is the descendent of Circe, Armida and
Duessa, "enchanting" her warriors and leading them to sure destruction,
Lyndaraxa is very much kin to these sorceresses of epic tradition;
Dryden had the precedence of Homer's Circe, Aristo's Angelica,
Tasso's Armida and Spencer's Duessa to draw from. But Lyndaraxa
is a 'faodern" sorceress—she does not possess supernatural powers,
nor does she indulge in the playful bitchery of an Angelica, but
she does possess great physical beauty, and a knowledge of basic
human psychology; she knows how to cloud the minds of her victims
with the fleeting image of a smile. While Circe transforms her
victims into swine, and Armida spirits Rinaldo to an enchanted
paradise to numb the warrior in him, Lyndaraxa captures her victims
with smiles and promises, demanding in turn that they serve her
interests with absolute submission,
Abdalla and Abdelmelech are Lyndaraxa's intended victims.
Only Abdalla's "enchantment" is complete. In a short soliloquy
he traces the rise and fall of her influence in terms of basic


52
sensualist psychology:
A glancing smile allured me to command,
AM her soft fingers gently pressed my hand:
I felt the pleasure glide through every part;
Her hand went through me to my very heart.
For such another pleasure, did he Live,
I could my father of a crown deprive. -
What did I say? -
Fatherl - That impious thought has shocked my mind:
How bold our passions are, and yet how blind -
She's gone: and now,
Methinks, there is less glory in a crown:
2'Iy boiling passions settle, and go down.
Like amber chafed, when she is near, she acts;
When further off, inclines, but not attracts,
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
(One might point out here, that while Hobbes would have approved
the knowledge of psychology which forms the basis for Abdalla’s
speech, he would not have approved, anymore than did Dryden, of
the rebellion with which Abdalla's thoughts conclude,) Zulema
finishes what Lyndaraxa has begun, and in the next moment leads
Abdalla to the point where he submits to love's distortion of
reason:
Abdalla: To sharp-eyed reason this would seem untrue;
But reason I through love's false optics view,
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
From this point on, Abdalla willingly lives in Lyndaraxa-inspired
bondage. His speech is shot through with images of illusion,
dreams, enchantment and blindness. Though warned by Abdelmelech
and recognizing Lyndaraxa’s Circe-like ability to change him into
a moral "swine", he chooses to endure the enslavement:
Abdalla: , , . This enchanted place,
Like Circe's isle, is peopled with a race


53
Of dogs and swine; yet, though their fate I know,
I look with pleasure and am turning too,
I'll love, be blind, be cozened till I die,
(Part I, Act III, sc, i)
Abdalla remains Lyndaraxa's loyal slave even as he is slain by
Abdelmelech,
In contrast to Abdalla, Abdelmslech never completely
commits himself to the force of Lyndaraxa's "spell"; he constantly
expresses himself in terms of sleeping and waking; darkness and
light; blindness and sight; enchantment and disenchantment. Each
betrayal by Lyndaraxa "lets a beam in, that will clear my mind"
(Part I, Act IV, sc, ii), until a final base act supposedly
"cures" Abdelmelech, His speech is a recapitulation of most of
the images describing Lyndaraxa's influence:
Abdelmelech. The spell is ended, and the enchantment o'er
My love was blind to your deluding art;
But blind men feel, when stabbed so near the heart,
I'm now awake, and cannot dream again,
(Part II, Act IV, sc, ii)
In spite of his awakening, however, Abdelmelech cannot
extricate himself fully from Lyndaraxa's "fate,” Momentarily,
Abdelmelech has his "enchantress” in his power, and in revenge
against her pride, orders that she wait upon Almahide. The woman
who desires to be a queen above all else is made an attendant to
a queen, Abdelmelech attempts to give his captive a lesson in
justice: "See now the effects of what your arts designed, , , "


(Part II, Act IV, sc, ii), but Lyndaraxa is unimpressed.. Threatening
revenge for the punishment Abdelmelech has promised to impose on
her, Lyndaraxa hopes to wreak wide destruction in her falls
• . . like some falling tower,
Whose seeming firmness does the sight beguile,
So hold I up my nodding head a while,
Til they come under; and reserve my fall,
That with ray ruins I may reach them all,
(Part II, Act IV, sc, ii)
It is not clear who "they" are, but from this point on,
Lyndaraxa, in attempting to salvage something from the ruins of
her fortune, succeeds only in destroying those around her. Both
Zulema and Barnet, her brothers, are slain defending Lyndaraxa*s
false accusation of adultery between Almahi.de and Abdelmelech,
but not even this evidence of a just universe impresses Lyndaraxa.
The trial by combat is an important event which prefigures the
ordered conclusion of the play. Just prior to the trial, the
innocent Abdelmelech and Almanide despair over what appears to
be the triumph of injustice:
Abdelmelech. Heaven is not heaven, nor are there deities;
There is some new rebellion in the skies.
All that was good and holy is dethroned,
And lust and rapine are for justice owned.
(Part II, Act V, sc. i)
Almahide« See how the gazing people crowd the place,
All gaping to be filled with my disgrace,
LA shout within.
They shout, like the hoarse peals of vultures, rings,
When over fighting fields they beat their wings, -
(Part II, Act V, sc. ii)


55
Almahide's maid, Esperanza (Spanish for "hope"), comforts her mistress
by telling her that there is a Deity who protects and dispenses
grace—the Christian C-od, Almahide admits that she may have erred
in her pagan beliefs and prays to Esperanza*s "Godhead" for "succour"
and "justice", promising to become a follower if he will reveal him¬
self by supporting injured innocence. The outcome of the trial
proves, to Almahide at least, that the universe is ruled by some¬
thing greater than chance. Of the false witnesses, only Zulema
repents of his crime and asks forgiveness, which Almahide readily
grants,
For her part in the plot, Lyndaraxa receives mercy.
Rather than ordain death as her punishment, Boabdelin merely ban¬
ishes her, receiving a curse for thanks: "Thou shouldst have
punished more, or not at all:/By her thou hast not ruined, thou
shalt fall" (Part II, Act V, sc, ii). Her curse proves potent, and
Boabdelin is reported "slain by a Zegry's hand" in the final battle
between Granada's forces and the Christians,
Self-centered and ambitious to the end, Lyndaraxa is
strikingly excluded from the "blessed change" that encompasses
other inhabitants of Granada. As she accepts the government of
Granada from Ferdinand's hands, Lyndaraxa haughtily boasts, "this
empire to my fate was owed," and compares herself to Tamberlain,
relegating Abdelmslech to the role of slave. Lyndaraxa's sudden
death at the hands of Abdelmslech is one of the most villainously
heroic in all of Dryden's canon. The crown she has sought with
such single-mindedness is hers—fortune finally rewards with what


56
goods are in her command, but "fate" follows closely, cutting short
Lyndaraxa's reign. Echoing Almanzor's words from Part I, Act I,
sc, i ("I have not leisure yet to die,")» Lyndaraxa attempts to
shove death from her: "I have not leisure now;/A crown is come,
and will not fate allow" (Part II, Act V, sc, ii); but a pattern
of retributive justice, not "fate," is asserting itself and
Lyndaraxa, for all her machinations, cannot stop its fulfillment.
When Lyndaraxa realizes she cannot put off death, she charges
"rebellion on my fate," and commands her subjects "your submission
show," As they bow, Dryden allows his villainess one moment of
triumph; she is "pleased to taste an empire e'er I go,"
There remains one more word on fortune as it is linked
to the career of Lyndaraxa. Up to this point fortune has been
accused of dealing with man blindly, rewarding the foolish and
depriving the wise (to paraphrase Lyndaraxa's own words), and,
in general, acting in no discernable pattern, with its unpredict¬
ability its only predictable quality, Man seems to be totally
helpless in the face of the incomprehensible workings of fortune.
All who have attempted to facilitate their own interests at the
cost of the lives and happiness of others, those who have worshipped
fortune as the supreme and unstable ruler of the universe have
failed: Zulema, who attempted to make his own fortune, is dead;
Abdalla, who declared, "Who follow fortune, still are in the right,"
is dead} and, last to fall, Lyndaraxa, who never saw beyond the
workings of an irrational, amoral fortune, is slain by her rejected
lover. The pattern of justice has been completed, and is now


57
discernable for those who survive—fortune is not the supreme ruler
of the universe, A retributive pattern is made explicit by
Abenemar, who has just witnessed Lyndaraxa's death: "Such fortune
still such black designs attends" (Part II, Act V, sc, ii), Lyndaraxa’s
death caps the accumulating evidence, and Abenamar's observation
provides the epitaph. Fortune has only appeared with a mask of
irrationality; in actuality she is merely a handmaiden in a
basically moral and orderly universe.
It may be said of Dryden's use of fortune in The Conquest
of Granada that it is a dramatic device, employed to reveal a
character's particular grasp of the scheme of temporal events. The
characters who fail to comprehend any order or power beyond their
own destructive desires and the fickle goddess, fortune, fall
beneath a retributive pattern of justice. For Lyndaraxa, the moment
before death brings no illumination or spiritual rebirth; she
dies exalting in the achievement of her desire to be queen,
Barbara Bartholomew, in her work Fortuna and Natura:
A Reading of Three Chaucer Narratives, discusses in detail the uses
of Fortuna, in Chaucer's work. One of the most striking aspects
of her discussion is the emphasis she places upon Chaucer’s use of
attitudes toward. Fortuna in creating character. Fortuna herself
does not change her nature, but man apprehends her according to
his own light. Defeat and victory are seen in terms of a paradox
based upon Fortuna's place in the Christian order and man's ability
or inability to comprehend this paradox:
Transcending Fortune is always important in Chaucer.


53
For a character to be defeated by the fickle
goddess is for him to die believing that she
is supreme} for a character to be victorious
over her is for him to die—or live—secure
in the philosophical acceptance of God and
his agents beyond her.
Real tragedy, then, lies in man's inability to see beyond Fortuna’s
rules
As early as Boethius the arguments are established:
Fortuna must be fickle or she would not be
Fortuna; since God rules Fortuna, the goddess
must ultimately work for good; mischief lies
not in Fortuna but in the attitude of the
victim. , , . And in Chaucer, as elsewhere, the
characters who briefly invoke her or curse her .
often take the short view of Fortuna's tumult
without relating it to any large Christian
purposes she has caused them woe; they blame
her, °
Thus, Dryden's use of fortune in The Conquest of Granada
is a part of a long-standing Christian literary tradition. It is
a strain that may also be found in Tasso's epic, Jerusalem Delivered,
which Dryden acknowledged as providing in its hero, Rinaldo, one
source for the nature of his own hero, Almanzor, Both the loth
century epic and the 17th century heroic play deal with the con¬
quest of a pagan-held city which was, in the past, a part of the
Christian world, and is, in the dramatic present, the object of a
siege by Christian forces: Palestine and Granada are the topo¬
graphical centers of both works; they are the ground of both
physical and spiritual combat. On this ground the ultimate human
tragedy is Christian in natures physical defeat is but temporary;
the real tragedy is that a man loses his own soul. A man may lose


59
a battle but save his own soul. This particular paradox forms
a strange background for Tasso’s epic, with its warrior-oriented
cast and its battleground setting. The Christian forces of
Jerusalem Delivered acknowledge fortune, but they also, generally,
know her limitations. Godfrey, divinely chosen to lead the Crusade's
polyglot forces, places fortune in the scheme of things. To
pick a champion, Godfrey orders a drawing:
And see whom fortune chooseth to this game;
Or rather see whom God's high judgment taketh,
To whom is chance and fate and fortune slave.
In book IX, God is described as one
Under whose feet (subjected to his grace)
Sit nature, fortune, motion, time and place: . . .
To trust in this all-powerful God is to conquer fortune:
0. happy zeal,' who trusts in help divine
The world's afflictions thus can drive away,
Can storms appease, and times and seasons change.
And conquer fortune, fate, and dest’ny strange, 2
Cities as well as individuals are included in the scheme
of a divine providence that supersedes temporal fortune. The echo
of a phoenix-like death and rebirth is to be heard in Tasso's
vision of Palestine, lost to the pagans, being restored to its
true Lord. While its walls must be tom down, its fields destroyed,
its towers burned, it is "Providence Divine" that "The empire proud
of Palestine/This day should fall, to rise again more bless'd; . ,
There is a constant repetition of this theme of rise and fall;


60
of good corning from apparent ill? of cities falling to rise, and .
individuals losing a battle only to gain new life. The most
striking example of the latter is the career of Armida, Tasso's
sorceress-villainess who is both similar to and strikingly dif¬
ferent from Dryden's Lyndaraxa. In order to wreak revenge on
Rinaldo for leaving her enchanted garden to return to the Christian
army, Armida joins the pagan forces, She flees after the Christian
forces have triumphed only to be captured by Rinaldo himself.
Rather than finding the disgraceful bondage that she feared, how¬
ever, Armida is persuaded by Rinaldo to resume command of her king¬
dom and become a Christian, She partakes of the Christian paradox:
2¡i
Thus death her life became, loss prov'd her treasure,”
Within this epic of salvation and restoration, there
are those who fall grandly not to rise again. Desiring Tancred's
conquest, the pagan hero, Argantes, challenges the Christian warrior
to single combat, The blows are exchanged and each hero suffers
wounds; Argantes finally falls, not by Tancred's sword, but carried
down by the terrible momentum of one of his own blows, Tancred
offers mercy, but the pagan prefers to die a warrior's death.
Nothing has been stinted in the description of the pagan’s strength,
ire, anger, or his heroic deeds. Like Lyndaraxa, his death has
a kind of terrible appropriateness to it. But both the pagan
warrior and the ambitious woman are excluded from the general
restoration that encompasses Palestine and Granada, And yet neither
is excluded from the movement of the whole—they are not simply
extraneous "freaks” of human will; they-are both, in a sense,


61
examples of the variation of human will and a mark of its radical
swing. Just ás Argantes is a towering example of defiance and
finite heroism, Lyndaraxa is a supreme example of the violent
extremés to which self-interest may be carried. There is a feeling
of human expansion, of an over-extension of human will and human
liberty which makes Argantes and Lyndaraxa no less fascinating
for the discovery that the expansion is ultimately, and, for them,
tragically finite. They both refuse to accept the terms of defeat:
Argantes refuses Rinaldo's offer of mercy and receives a hero's
death and homage from his conqueror? Lyndaraxa refuses to submit
to anything or ary person, and tastes for a moment what it is to
be queen,
Lyndaraxa could have easily said with Dryden's Arcite:
Whát greater Curse cou'd envious Fortune-give,
Than just to die, when I began to live,
She has prayed to all the wrong gods? like Arcite, she has asked
all the wrong things—she has won the battle only to lose the war.
She is encompassed by a moral order that she does not comprehend?
indeed, it never seems to occur to her that it even exists. She
remains unredeemed and unrepentant. Unlike the repentent Armida,
Lyndaraxa's passionate pursuit of freedom has excluded her from a
conquered city's new existence under Christian monarchs.


NOTES
1
John Dryden, Dedication to "Annus Mirabilis," The Poems
of John Dryden, ed. by James Kinsley (Oxford, 1958), Vol. I, p. 4-3;
hereafter cited as Poems.
2
Howard Rollin Patch, "The Tradition of the Goddess
Fortuna in Roman Literature and in the Transitional Period.” In
Smith College Studies in Modern Languages, Vol, III (Northhampton,
Mass., Oct.' 1921-July 3.922).
3
Ibid., p, 142.
4
H. V. Canter, "'Fortuna' in Latin Poetry,” SP, XIX
(Jan. 1922), p. 80.
5
Patch, o£, cit,, p. 149.
6
Ibid., p. 193.
7
Thirteen Satires of Juvenal, ed. John E, B, Mayor
(London, 1893)"»" Vol. Í, pp. 51-52.
8
"Tenth Satyre of Juvenal," Poems, Vol. II, 11. 533-
561, pp. 734-735* Dryden's translation of the entire passage from
Juvenal quoted above is as follows:
What then remains? Are we depriv'd of Will?
Must we not Wish, for fear of wishing Ill?
Receive my Counsel, and securely move;
Intrust thy Fortune to the Pow'rs above.
Leave them to manage for thee, and to grant
What their unerring Wisdom sees thee want:
In Goodness, as in Greatness, they excel;
Ah that we lov'd our selves but half so well!
We, blindly by our headstrong Passions led,
62


63
Are hot for Action, and desire to Wed;
Then wish for Heirs; But to the Gods alone
Our future Offspring, and our Wives, are known;
Th* audacious Strumpet, and ungracious Son.
Yet, not to rob the Priests of pious Gain,
That Altars be not wholly built in vain;
For give the Gods the rest, and stand confin'd
To Health of Body, and Content of Mind:
A Soul, that can securely Death defie,
And count it Nature's Priviledge to Dye;
Serene and Manly, harden'd to sustain
The load of Life, and Exercis'd in Pain;
Guiltless of Hate, and Proof against Desire;
That all things weighs, and nothing can admire;
That dares prefer the Toils of Hercules
To Dalliance, Banquet, and Ignoble ease.
The Patli to Peace is Virtue: What I show,
Thy Self may freely, on thy Self bestow;
Fortune was never Worship?'d by the Wise;
But, set aloft by Fools, Usurps the Skies,
9
Horace, The Odes and Epodes, trans, C, E, Bennet
(Cambridge, Mass.; London, I960), "Twenty Ninth Ode of the Third
Book," 11, 49-56. Dryden's translation of these lines in Poems,
Vol. I, pp. 436-37:
Fortune, that with malicious joy,
Does Man, her slave, oppress,
Proud of her Office to destroy,
Is seldom pleas'd to bless;
Still various and unconstant still;
But with an inclination to be ill;
Promotes, degrades, delights in strife,
And makes a Lottery of life.
I can enjoy her while she's kind;
But when she dances in the wind,
And shakes her wings, and will, not stay,
I puff the Prostitute away;
The little or the much she gave, is quietly resign'd;
Content with poverty my Soul I arm;
And Vertue, tho’ in rags, will keep me warm.
10
Mildred E, Hartsock, "Dryden's Flays; A Study in Ideas.,"
Seventeenth Century Studies, 2nd ser., ed, Robert Shafer (Princeton,
1937), pp. 71-176.
11
Louis Tester, "The Dramatic Use of Hobbes' Political
Ideas," ELH, III (1936), p. 143.


12
Thomas Hobbes, The English Works, ed. Sir William
Molesworth (London, 1841), "Human Natures or the Fundamental
Elements of Policy," Vol. IV, p, 70,
13
Ibid.
14
Ibid., "Of Liberty and Necessity," Vol, IV, p, 274,
15
Ibid., "Leviathan," Vol. II, p. 96.
16
Ibid., p. 100,
17
Ovid, With an English Translation, ed, Arthur Leslie
Wheeler (London; New York, 1939)* "Tristia" V, Eleg. VIIII, 11, 15-
18, Wheeler's translation: "Changeable Fortune wanders abroad
with aimless steps, abiding firm and persistent in no place; now
she comes in Joy, now she takes on a harsh mien, steadfast only
in her own fickleness,"
18
Barbara Bartholomew, Fortuna and Natures A Reading
of Three Chaucer Narratives (London, Í960T", pp, 11-12.
19
Ibid., pp. 16-17,
20
Torquato Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, The Edward Fairfax
translation newly introduced by Robert Weiss (Carbondale, Ill,,
1962), Bock VII, stanzas 69-70,
21
Ibid., Book IX, stanza 56.
22
Ibid., Book XIII, stanza 80,
23
Ibid,, Book stanza 75.
24
Ibid., Book XX, stanza 136.
25
"Palamon and Arcite," Poems, Vol, IV, Book III, 11,
792-793, p. 1520.


CHAPTER III
PROVIDENTIAL CHANGE AND RESTORATION
In contrast to the destruction emanating from and en¬
compassing the group of characters allied to Lyndaraxa, there is
a significant group of characters who not only survive Granada’s
surrender, but who take part in the "blessed change" announced by
Benzayda in the last moments of the play. The Conquest of Granada
is concerned both with destruction and restoration and with a
paradox of conquest which links the two processesi out of de¬
struction comes renewal and restoration, out of surrender comes
victory. This paradox encompasses individuals and empires. The
historical ’koment" of the play is that point of time in which the
last vestiges of the Moorish Empire are being erased, and, as a
consequence, the play abounds in images of destructions towers
fall, temples are laid waste, and walls are besieged, both lit¬
erally and metaphorically. As metaphors, these images of de¬
struction describe the action of human passions upon the minds and
souls of individual men, drawing upon the larger context of the
conquest of an empire for their significance. The paradox which
is true of th9 conquest of empires is also true of the individual
soul. The passions of hatred, revenge, lust and desire for absolute
freedom from control which drive Lyndaraxa and her group are elements
which divide and devastate the city of Granada} on the other hand,
65


66
the forms of love which transform Almansor, Selin and Abenamar are
the elements which ultimately rebuild and. unify Granada. The love
which rebuilds, heals and reconciles proves ultimately more potent
than the destructive power of selfish desires and hatred. Thus,
the presence of "typical" heroic conflicts of passion vs, reason,
passion vs, honor, and platonic vs. sensual love, in The Conquest,
are secondary in importance to the theme of reconciliation and
restoration. As with destruction, reconciliation and restoration
are both historical and individual; Granada is restored to the
Christian empire, but before this is effected, a whole series of
transformations and reconciliations takes place within the walls
of Granada


Section I
Both the destructive and the restorative forces apparent
in The Conquest of Granada are linked with two phrases used to
describe two rather narrowly limited events, but events which carry
with them the sense of larger, historical processes at work: the
phrases, “blessed change'’ and "benefits of fate," both imply
providential modes which encompass and mitigate the destruction
caused by and engulfing the group of characters surrounding Lyndaraxa,
In Part II, Act V, sc, ii, Benzayda describes Almahide’s assumption
of the name, Isabella of Granada, as a "blessed change" in which
all desire to partake by learning of the Christian faith of their
conquerors. Earlier in the play, Ozmyn describes the almost fatal
circumstances under which he meets and loves Benzayda as the
"benefits of fate" (Part I, Act V, sc. i). Ozmyn’s phrase indicates
a pagan's attempt to explain the mysterious working of fate, and
Dryden was to use it again later in his translation of the Aeneid,^
Only in Benzayda*s phrase is it immediately apparent that a pro¬
vidential process is being referred to. Previous to their use in
The Conquest of Granada, however, Dryden had applied the two phrases,
with variations, in contexts which established their broader
historical implications: Heroic Stanzas, Astraea Redux, and Annus
Kirabilis contribute greatly to an understanding of the paradoxes
of the basic providential process indicated by the phrases "benefits
67


68
of fate" and the "blessed change," as they are used in The Conquest
of Granada,
The relationship between providence and fortune in Dryden's
Heroic Stanzas and Astraea Redux has been pointed out by Alan Roper
2
in his chapter, "The Kingdom of England," Mi', Roper maintains
that these early poems contain a consistent attitude toward fortune
and providence in the affairs of state. In the Heroic Stanzas,
providence manifests itself in providing a ruler, whether king or
protector, in order to maintain order. Cromwell is Heaven's choice,
and, therefore, above Fortune's sways
His Grandeur he deriv'd from Heav'n alone,
For he was great e'er Fortune made him so? . â–  . _
(Heroique Stanzas, 11. 21, 22)-^
As Heaven's choice, the very shape of his career implies the
order that he shall impose on England:
How shall I then begin, or where conclude
To draw a Fame so truly Circular?
For in a round what order can be skew'd,
Where all the parts so equall perfect are?
(Heroique Stanzas, 11, l?-20)
Heaven's favor makes Cromwell "secure of fortune," and, presumably,
he lends to England the security that he himself enjoys. Even
Scotland should be thankful and"bless that fate which did his
Armes dispose/Her land to Civilize as to subdue” (Heroique Stanzas,
11. 6?-68). In the hands of a providential choice, conquest becomes
a blessing.
The implication of the Heroic Stanzas, that a ruler,


69
chosen of Heaven to impose order upon a kingdom, stops the vacillations
of fortune and turns conquest into a blessing, is repeated, with
a variation, in Astraea Redux, Here, the process by which de¬
struction and distress become "blessings" is more fully described,
England is disrupted by a "sullen Intervall of Warre. . during
which the "rabble" enjoy a "lawless salvage [sic] Libertie." But
while England is in chaos, Charles II is experiencing a "Pilgrimage"
which will prepare him to return and restore order to England.,
Like Aeneas, he is "toss'd by Fate, and hurried up and downj" however,
"His Manly Courage ovei'came his Fate" and his sufferings are trans¬
formed by Dryden into blessings that will eventually descend to
the nation as a whole. First, however, the poet expresses his
puzzlement over the mystery of suffering and blessing and then
proceeds, in images of black and white, and light and dark,to
establish the paradox of suffering. Because of its relevance to
The Conquest of Granada, it is worthwhile to quote the passages
in which the process of transformation explicitly takes place.
The poet expresses his own feelings in terms of an
ambiguity»
How shall I then my doubtful thoughts express
That must his suff 'rings both regret and bless,'
(Astraea Redux, 11. 71-72)
A parallel between Charles II and David begins to clarify the
relationship between the suffering exile and the triumphant king,
and the advantages to be gained by Charles from the afflictions
of exile are the same as accrued to David during his banishment:


70
Inur'd to suffer ere he came to raigne
No rash procedure will his actions stain.
To bus'ness ripened by digestive thought
His future rule is into Method brought:
Well might the Ancient Poets then confer
On Night the honour'd name of Counseller,
Since struck with rayes of prosp'rous fortune blind
Vie light alone in dark afflictions find.
(11. 87-90, 93-96)
It is not for Charles to be "lost in sleep and ease," but to become
tempered in misfortune in order to rule a disquieted age; "lazy
Ages" produce "supine felicity," but
Such is not Charles his too too active age,
Which govern'd by the wild distemper'd rage
Of some black Star infecting all the Skies,
Made him at his own cost like Adam wise,
(11, 111-114)
lastly, Charles is cast upon England’s shores by "those loud
stormes that did against him rore," and the paradox of good arising
from ill, of blessing emerging from suffering is complete. The
whole pattern is then ssen in terms of the canvas of an artist
whose subtlety in the use of black and white is parallel to the
gradations of the change which has been wrought before the eyes of
the English:
let as wise artists mix their colours so
That by degrees they from each other go,
Black steals unheeded from the neighb'ring white
Without offending the well cous'ned sight:
So on us stole our blessed change; while we
Th* effect did feel but scarce the manner see.
(11. 125-130)
The use of black and white and light and dark could not


71
be taken as fortuitous here considering the repetitious use of
the colors preceding this passage. Charles' "black star" which
infects the skies makes him a wiser man, and because we are apt
to be blinded by fortune's favors, "we light alone in dark afflictions
find," At Charles' return to English shores, "times whiter Series
is begun?" presumably with the return of Charles and justice
comes the premise of a happier age than that which has past. It
is more than likely that Dryden had in mind, for the direct use
of black and white, the Homan usage which he cites in,a footnote
to The Second Satire of Persius. The satire begins! "Let this
auspicious morning be exprest/With a white stone distinguished
from the rest, ..." Dryden's footnote runs as follows» "The
Romans were used to mark their fortunate days, or anything that
luckily befell them, with a white stone, which they had from the
¿4-
island of Creta, and their unfortunate with a coal."
The commentary of the California edition of the Complete
Works of John Dryden points out what appears to be an opposition
between good and evil in Astraea Redux;
On the side of evil and rebellion are arrayed
madness, faction, despair, designing leaders,
power, the vulgar, the rabble, a lawless sav¬
age liberty, wild distempered rage, frosts,
crude humors, guilt, pollution, Legion, sin,
Turks, drunkeness on martyrs' tombs, black
crimes, impious wit, wiles, and malicious arts.
And with these, in temporary alliance until
a greater power breaks their spell, are fate,
cross stars, Destiny, Fortune, Fortune's
fruitless spite, and the black star. Associated
with Charles II are Heave) miracles, good days,
the sacred purple and the scarlet gown, pil¬
grimage, the -sun, virtues, valor, honor, God's
anoited, light, wisdom, blessed change, the


72
warmth of lengthening day, Heaven’s blessing,
Providence, the blessed saints, mildness of
temper, a forgiving mind, justice, and goodness,
It is noted, however, that line 87 of the poem, in which the phrase
"Inur'd to suffer" appears, refers to "The effect of exile upon
Charles, in fostering in him patience, restraint, and a power of
shrewd observation, • . It seems to me that what is apparent
in Astraea Redux is that many of the values which the California
commentary lists under "good" owe, through Providence's transforming
power, their origin to apparent "evil": the pilgrimage "ripens"
and "trains" kings for their thrones through suffering; light is
seen in darkness; wisdom is gained from the black infecting star,
and "fortune's fruitless spight" rivets the throne. Not only is
Charles prepared by his exile to assume the throne, but the nation
is prepared to receive the king, chastised by its experience:
", , , since reform'd by what we did amiss,/We by our suff'rings
learn to prize our bliss: , , (Astraea Redux, 11, 209-210).
Providence is more than simply associated with Charles II and good,
it includes both good and ill; it is one of Providence's "modes"
to form good from evil, to perform the "blessed change," Black
and white exist side by side in Astraea Redux, and, as with painting
techniques, they "by degrees from each other go" until, when the
process is complete, the "blessed change" becomes apparent to the
observer's eyes.
Time and again Dryden used the idea of a blessed change
when viewing historical events. Particularly apparent in both
Astraea Redux and Annus Kirabilis is the process of providential


73
change whereby catastrophic events involving England reap ultimate
benefits. In the dedication to Annus Mirabilis, Dryden addresses
"The most Renowned and late Flourishing City of London, In its
Representatives The Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, ..." In
this dedication, Dryden explicitly sets forth the role of Providence
in the career of London and the English nation as a whole:
You [[London and Charles IIJ have come together
a pair of matchless Lovers, through many dif¬
ficulties; He, through a long Exile, various
traverses of Fortune, and the interposition
of many Rivals, who violently ravish'd and
with-held You from Him: And certainly you
have had your share in sufferings. 3ut
Providence has cast upon you want of Trade,
that you might appear bountiful to your
Country's necessities; and the rest of your
afflictions are not more the effects of God's
displeasure, (frequent examples of them having
been in the Reign of the most excellent Princes)
then occasions for the manifesting of your
Christian and Civil virtues. To you therefore
this Year of Wonders is justly dedicated,
because you have made it so: You who are to
stand a wonder to all Years and Ages, and who
have built your selves an immortal Monument
on your own ruines. You are now a Phoenix
in her ashes, and, as far as Humanity can ap¬
proach, a great Emblem of the suffering Deity.
But Heaven never made so much Piety and Vertue
to leave it miserable. I have heard indeed
of some vertuous persons who have ended un¬
fortunately, but never of any vertuous Nation:
Providence is engag'd too deeply, when the
cause becomes so general,
(Dedication, Annus Mirabilis)
Providence is engaged in preserving virtuous nations, but her ways
are still mysterious to man, and not unt3.1 events become history
can one see the total pattern clearly:
The undistinguish'd seeds of good and ill
Heav'n, in his bosom, from our knowledge hides;


?4
And draws them in contempt of human skill,
Which oft, for friends, mistaken foes provides.
(Annus Mlrabilis. 11, 141-144)
While Heaven is sometimes mysterious, Fortune seems down-
right arbitrary. When Fortune appears to assume power over men's
affairs it is possible that evil will be rewarded and disaster
brought to the good. For the events in Annus Mirabilis, however,
Fortune has only limited sway; she is subject to a higher power.
Providence asserts itself after the two-day naval battle when the
valiant but outnumbered British ships rest from the losses inflicted
by the Dutch:
Thus far had Fortune pow'r, here forc'd to stay,
Nor longer durst with vertue be at strife: . , ,
(Annus Mirabilis, 11. 412-413)
Rupert arrives to save the British ships and virtue from destruction.
Thus, Providence supersedes Fortune in a dramatic, sudden turn of
events. The second event, London in flames, however, shows Pro¬
vidence working in the familiar mode of Astraea Redux--the blessed
change is in evidence once again, London's Guardian Angel (Quatrain
224) leaves the city to its "Fate." "Fate" and a retributive pattern
are linked as causes of London's catastrophe. The English nation,
"Swell'd** with its successes, tempts "Fate to lay us low" (11. 837-
840), and it is indicated that the city, like the structure of St.
Paul's, must be "purg'd" by fire, because "prophan'd" by Civil War.
Besides the element of moral retribution in the city's fate, however,
Diyden indicates that there are certain benefits or blessings to
accrue from the disaster of the fire. A noble change is foretold


75
in four separate quatrains!
Yet, London, Empress of the Northern Clime,
By an high fate thou greatly didst expire;
Great as the worlds, which at the death of time
Must fall, and rise a nobler frame by fire,
(Q. 212, 11. 845-843)
Now down the narrow streets it swiftly came,
And, widely opening, did on both sides prey.
This benefit we sadly owe the flame,
If onely ruine mast enlarge our way.
(Q. 277, 11. 1105-1108)
Me-thinks already, from this Chymick flame,
I see a city of more precious molds
Rich as the Town which gives the Indies name,
With silver pav'd, and all divine with Gold,
(Q. 293, 11. 1169-1172)
More great then humane, now, and more August
New deifi'd she from her fires does rises
Her widening streets on new foundations trust,
And, opening, into larger parts she flies,
(Q. 295, 11. 1177-1180)
Besides purging London of its sins, the fire is to bring about a
Phoenix-like transformation, enlarging and enobling in its de¬
struction, Dryden's city is both Ovidian and biblical in its
changes the destruction which is parallel to the fate of the world
"at the death of time" need not simply refer to the firing of
n
the royal palace of heaven in Ovid's Metamorphoses,1 but, paired
with the reference to a new city, suggests also the biblical account
of the end of earth and the establishment of the New Jerusalems
O
a city likely to be "With silver pav'd, and all divine with Gold."
Astraea Redux and Annus Mirabilis end with prophesy;
in both cases the events are yet to be completed, to become history,
Astraea Redux moves from the past (rebellion, suffering) through


76
the present (Charles' return) to the future:
And now times whiter Series is begun
Which in soft Centuries shall smoothly run; . . .
(11. 292-293)
Annus Hirabilis proceeds through the naval encounter with the Dutch
and London's fire to the final stanza giving, the poet's vision of
what shall be:
Thus to the Eastern wealth through storms we go;
But now, the Cape once doubled, fear no more:
A constant Trade-wind will securely blow,
And gent3^y lay us on the Spicy shore.
(Q. 304, 11. 1213-1216)
Although the events which Dryden made the subjects of these two
poems were “present" history and, as was true of the Charles,
Shaftesbury, and Monmouth struggle, "were not brought to an Extremity
where I left the Story. . .yet Dryden finds that in such an
event "There seems . * ,, to be room left for a Composure; ..."
("To the Reader," Absalom and Achitophel). Th9 "Composures" of
Astraea Redux and Annus Hirabilis are prophecies in the tradition
o
of .Jove's utterances to Venus in Book I of Virgil's Aeneis, and
the vision of Troy "extended" in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book 15.^
Dryden's "Composures" are prophecies based on an assumption that
England, is basically a virtuous nation and, therefore, the object
of the special concern of Providence. As Dryden announces in the
dedication of Annus Hirabilis, there is a special continuity for
virtuous nations (and cities) which may be represented by the
Phoenix, an emblem of Christ's death and resurrection. Throughout


77
the poem, there is a sense of rise and fall, but where there are
special virtues in a nation, these virtues provide a promise of
renewal even in the midst of destruction; nations are the particular
concern of Fate in the Aeneid and of Providence in Dryden's poetry.
Where nations are concerned, Providence works in a peculiarly
temporal mode—nations are rewarded and punished in this world,
because they are finite and possess no immortal ’'soul,'*
Dryden*s attitude was not particularly unique; Edward
Stillingfleet, in "A Sermon Preached on the Fast-Day November 13.1678,“
expounded in more detail concerning the special relationship between
nations and Providence. Stillingfleet's avowed purpose is to show
That God doth exercise a particular providence
with respect to the state and condition of
Nations, i. e, as they are united into several
and distinct bodies, which are capable as
such of being happy or miserable. For since
mankinds entering into society is both necessary
and advantageous to them, and God doth not
barely permit and approve, but dispose and
incline men to it; and hath given them Laws
to govern themselves by, with respect to
society; it is but reasonable to suppose
that God should call men to an account in
that capacity; and to distribute rewards and
punishments according to the nature of their
actions; which must either be done in this
world, or it cannot be done at all; for all
those bonds are dissolved by death, and men
shall not answer for their sins by Kingdoms
and Nations in another world, but every man
shall give account of himself unto God. • • •
We say, and with a great deal of P-eason, that
it is not disparagement to the Justice of
Gods Providence for good men to suffer, or
for wicked men to escape punishment in this
Life, because the great day of recompense
is to come, . , . But that will not hold as
to Nations, who shall not suffer in communities
then as they have sinned here: . ,


78
William Strong, in his sermon, "The Mysteries of Providence,"
also divides Providence into two categories, God has placed the
Providential Kingdom into the governance of Christ, and this kingdom
is two-fold: l) The Spiritual Kingdom "by which he rules the
hearts of his people; so he is King of Saints," and 2). "The Pro¬
vidential Kingdom likewise by which he rules the affairs of the world,
12
and so he is the King of Nations,"
Ths special temporal dimension of nations necessitates
temporal judgment upon their virtues and vices, lending a kind of
completeness and predictability to the pattern of history. More
often than not, this pattern is described as a circular one, and
the Phoenix is the image of its working, George Hakewill, in a
treatise censuring the concept of a linear decline of the world,
claims that decline alternates with growth in a rhythmic pattern that
recalls the Fhoenix's death-birth pattern: Empires "have all againe
declined and come to nothing; and out of their ashes have others
sprung up, which likewise within a while (such a circulation there
TO
is in all things) have bin turned into ashes again." J Hakewill
then quotes a passage from "Bartas in his Colonies" in which the
motions of history are likened to waves:
As when the winde the angry Ocean moves,
Wave hunteth wave, and billow billow shoves;
So doe all Nations justle each the other,
And so one people doth pursue another,
And scarse a second hath the first unhoused, ^
Before a third him thence againe hath rowsed,
Hakewill' s rise and fall design is not, as the Bartas excerpt
would indicate out of context, merely a natural phenomena which


79
occurs regardless of a nation's merit; sinful luxury brings about
decline, and the whole process reveals "The Creators honor, the
reputation of his wisdoms, his justice, his goodness, and his power;
being all of them in my judgment by the opinion of Natures decay
not a little impeached and blemished,"
Whatever the descriptive image used—Phoenix, cycle, or
wave—*it is apparent to these Christian writers of the seventeenth
century that a "design" is discernible, that there is a temporal
rhythm of rise and fall, that one can survey in history a series
of completed designs which Providence has wrought out of the raw
materials of civil societies. These writers had no less a pre¬
cedence than that of St, Augustine who insisted upon the inclusion
of political societies in the order of things that fall under the
dominion of Providential law: "How , , . can anyone believe that
it was the will of God to exempt from the laws of His providence
the rise and fall of political societies?"^ History's design
includes both good and evil in an antithetical balance—a harmony
of opposites that produces a rhetoric of history:
God would never have created a single
angel - not even a single man - whose future
wickedness He foresaw, unless, at the same
time, He meant the harmony of history, like
the beauty of a poem, to be enriched by anti¬
thetical elements. Now, just as this kind
of antithesis lends beauty to literary style,
so, in the antitheses of history, there is a
rhetoric not of words, but of facts, that
makes for beauty. This is the idea which
the Book of Eeclesiásticas expresses clearly
as follows: 'Good is set against evil, and
life against death; so also is the sinner
against a just man. And so look upon all
the works of the Most High, Two and two,
and one against another..


80
Dryden also used an analogy from art to describe the
process of Providence as seen in historical retrospect; in Astraea
Redux, the metaphor is that of a large canvas upon which the artist
(God) applies his oils in gradations—white emerging from black
almost imperceptibly, the technique so subtle that the observer
senses the effect, but "scarce [.did] the manner see," The artist's
canvas and the Phoenix are the emblems of Providential change in
Astraea Redux and Annus Mirabilis, Both emblems imply change, both
describe a process which encompasses evil and good, death and life,
destruction and restoration.


Section II
In their first appearance in The Conquest of Granada,
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella's initial speeches establish the
design or pattern of history of which Spain and the Moorish empire
are a parts "time," "heaven," and “earth," in short, all causes,
supernatural and natural, join to second the Spanish Monarch's
desires:
Ferdinands At length the time is come, when Spain shall be
From the long yoke of Moorish tyrants free.
All causes seem to second our design,
And heaven and earth in their destruction join.
When empire in its childhood first appears,
A watchful fate o'ersees its tender years;
Till, grown more strong, it thrusts and stretches out,
And elbows all the kingdoms round about,
The place thus made for its first breathing free,
It moves again for ease and luxury;
Till, swelling by degrees, it has possessed
The greater space, and new crowds up the rest;
When, from behind, there starts some petty state,
And pushes on its now unwieldy fate;
Then down the precipice of time it goes,
And sinks in minutes, which in ages rose,
(Part II, Act I, sc, i)
Ferdinand's concept of empire echces Du Bartas' wave motion, but
it also has a parallel in the ages of man—childhood, youth, middle
age and old age. 3oth metaphors imply only natural birth, growth
and decay cycles, Isabella, however, adds a prophetic dimension
to the pattern which Ferdinand has established: Columbus' voyage
indicates the temporal expansion and future wealth of the Christian
81


82
Empire, but the conquest of one city stands out with special sig¬
nificance:
Isabella: Should bold Columbus in his search succeed,
And find those beds in which bright metals breed;
Tracing the sun, who seems to steal away,
That miser-like, he might alone survey
Tho wealth which he in western mines did lay, -
Not all that shinning ore could give my heart
The joy, this conquered kingdom will impart;
Which, rescued from the misbelievers’ hands,
Shall now, at once, shake off its double bands:
At once to freedom and true faith restored,
Its old religion and its ancient lord,
(Part II, Act I, sc. i)
The key words in Ferdinand's speech are "destruction,” "design,"
and "fate," and the metaphors indicate a tragic rhythm, ending in
destruction; Isabella's speech emphasizes "joy," rescue, "freedom,"
"faith," and ends with triumphant restoration.
Neither Ferdinand nor Isabella speaks in terms of pos¬
sible conquest; they speak in terms of certainty—it is a part
of an inevitable temporal movement that Granada be restored to
freedom, and the "true faith,” and its "ancient lord," It is, at
the same time, more than a temporal movement, more than political
justice that Ferdinand and Isabella occupy a throne that is theirs
by the historical right that the Duke of Arcos claims on their
behalf when he appears before Boabdelin in Part I, Act I, sc, i.
In Part II the same Duke of Arcos, in attempting to persuade
Almanzor to join the Christians, states explicitly what Ferdinand
and Isabella's combined speeches have implied—it is ultimately
Heaven's design that Granada must inevitably be conquered:
I shall be glad, by whste'er means I can.


33
To get the friendship of so brave a man;
And would your unavailing valour call,
From aiding those whom Heaven has doomed to fall.
(Part II, Act III, sc. iii)
Ferdinand voices a birth and decay theory of history which,
in itself, would lend no special significance to the fall of the
Moorish empire. Ferdinand's concept of the passing of temporal
kingdoms has dark overtones! the world, by its very nature, is
subject to decay; nations slip and slide down the "precipice of
time"—their very existence is precarious at most. This theme has
an echo in the words of Boabdelin who has every reason to feel the
precariousness of his own position as Granada's king with the
Christian forces threatening conquest from without, and the mob of
Moorish subjects threatening rebellion from within, He voices
the traditional lament of besieged kings, and in his despair sees
the Moorish empire as beyond his powers to save:
Of all mankind, the heaviest fate he bears,
Who the last crown of sinking empire wears.
No kingly planet of his birth took care;
Heaven's outcast, and the dross of every star!
(Part II, Act I, sc, ii)
The theme of Isabella's speech, however, is that of
restoration. Isabella does not negate Ferdinand's analysis, but
extends it. Decay is inevitable, but there is always work of re¬
newal and restoration to be done by Christian monarchs.
The distinction between Ferdinand's analysis of the
nature of temporal processes and Isabella's heart which is made
"joyful" by "This conquered kingdom" is not an accidental one; it


84
is an indication of a distinction in their roles as rulers that is
consistently maintained in their appearances in Part II, Ferdinand
and Isabella have not appeared as dramatic personages before the
first scene of Part II, In Part I they remain the unseen sovereigns
of the Christian forces which are reported to be laying siege to
the walls of Granada, Their presence is made known through the
testimony of the skirmishes between the Moors and the Christian
forces, and the appearance of their emissary, the Duke of Arcos,
It is not until the first scene of Part II that they express their
own attitudes toward Granada and establish for the audience the
significance of the conquest, Up to this point the dramatic focus
has been upon the individuals within Granada's walls—their loves,
hatreds, rebellions and heroics, Ferdinand and Isabella's ap¬
pearance, more than likely ceremoniously observed on stage, moves
the audience to a point outside the city's walls, lending a larger
significance to the conflicts within by establishing the broad
historical context of the conquest of Granada,
It is strange that the impact of their brief moments on
stage have been generally overlooked in analyses of The Conquest,
Ferdinand and Isabella appear only twice in Part II, but, significantly,
they begin and close it. They are the only ’’legitimate" sovereigns
of the play, and, as such, are the only true arbiters of order,
justice, and mercy in the political landscape. In one sense,
however, they stand outside and above the turmoils of Granada?
neither one effects much change on the disorder already fermenting
within Granada's walls, nor is it due to their power as monarchs


85
that the hatreds and turmoils of the Moors are first resolved.
Forgiveness and reconciliation take place before Granada's sur¬
render; Almanzor learns a new concept of heroic conduct before
he presents his sword to Ferdinand. Ferdinand and Isabella stand
at the apex of a series of changes, but to them belongs the power
to effect the final ceremonial manifestations of the changes which
have taken place within individual characters. Only Ferdinand is
directly involved in furthering Granada's disorders because they
"second" his and heaven's design. His is a practical mind; it
is politically expedient to have Abdalla as an ally and to encourage
his hopes for the crown, because "Those, who would conquer, roast
their foes divide." (Part II, Act I, sc, i).
The character of Ferdinand's role as monarch becomes more
clearly delineated as the first scene develops. He is concerned
with the practical, immediate aspects of rule: military victory,
justice, and political order. When it is announced that one of his
military leaders, the Master of Alcantara, has been slain in
single combat, Ferdinand's concern is to render justice for the
death of a brave soldier: "A braver man I had not in my host;/
His murderer shall not long his conquest boast: , , , " (Fart II,
Act I, sc. i). His tone changes somewhat when he hears the cir¬
cumstances of the combat and of the bravery of the Moorish knight,
Ozmyn, but he decides that it is expedient that the youth die "to
content the soldiers," At this point Isabella reveáis her special
role as sovereign, co-equal with her husband iñ the rule of Spain.
After Ozmyn and Benzayda display their love and their willingness
to die for one another, Isabella is moved to request a change in


86
Ozmyn's "doom." She reveals that.love, not conquest, was the force
that joined the kingdoms of Castile and Arragon. Love, mercy and
pity are the powers that emanate from hers
Isabellas Permit me, sir, these lovers' doom to gives
My sentence is, they shall together live.
The courts of Kings
To all distressed should sanctuaries be,
But most to lovers in adversity,
Castile and Arragon,
Which long against each,other war did move,
My plighted lord and I have joined by love;
And, if to add this conquest Heaven thinks good,
I would not have it stained with lovers' blood,
(Part II, Act I, sc, i)
In this instance, love and mercy abrogate the sentence declared
in the name of justice and military expediency, Ferdinand assents
to the superior force which Isabella represents: "Whatever Isabella
shall command/Shall always be a law to Ferdinand" (Part II, Act I,
sc, i), Isabella's power becomes apparent; love is her theme and
mercy and pity are her royal attributes. She offers protection to
the Moorish lovers and enunciates the ideal of heroic love for which
she is the center:
Granada is for noble loves renowned:
Her best defence is in her lovers found.
Love's an heroic passion, which can find
No room in any base degenerate mind:
It kindles all the soul with honour's fire,
To make the lover worthy his desire,
(Part II, Act I, sc, i)
She then predicts: "they shall overcome, who love the best,"
The delineation of the differences in the royal attributes
represented in the characters of Ferdinand and Isabella is continued


87
in their next, and last, appearance. They are not, however, dif¬
ferences which imply contradiction and opposition. Their attributes
are complementa,ry, and when combined and balanced they form a whole
which includes all aspects of the ideal Christian rulers justice,
and the military and political power to implement that justice, is
joined with love and mercy. Justice and military might alone are
not sufficient to effect the conquest of Granada. In the last
scene of Part II, Ferdinand,busily conducts the military aspects of
Granada's conquest, seconded, and strengthened by Isabella's
"shining train" of ladies who inspire courage in the Christian troops.
At the very point, however, when he steps forward to assert his
military might and decide a dubious battle, Ferdinand is prevented,
A messenger brings an account of the battle raging around and in
Granadal the combat carries a "doubtful face," and the "advantage
A.
is on the adverse side" where Almanzor leads the Moors, Ferdinand
assumes his role of military leader and threatens to meet Almanzor
in battle: "With my Castilian foot I'll meet his rage;" but as
he is “going out" shouts of victory are heard. Ironically, Granada
is not to fall by the might of military power; news comes that
Almanzor has heard the voice of the ghost of his mother, and, ad¬
dressing the "blessed shade," has declared that he will obey the
"sacred voice" and falls at the feet of his former enemy, the Duke
of Arcos, now revealed as his father, Ferdinand's reaction to the
news is to exclaim, "0 blessed event!"
From this point on, punishment is meted out to those who
deserve it and mercy and grace are extended to all lovers through
Isabella's reconciling power. For her role in aiding the Spanish


88
monarchs, Ferdinand politically presents the government of Granada
to Lyndaraxa, but Abdelmeleeh becomes the instrument of retributive
justice by stabbing Lyndaraxa, and then executes himself for her
murder: "I do myself that justice I did her'' (Part XI, Act V, sc, ii).
At Lyndaraxa*s death all disorder ceases; reconciliation and bles¬
sings become the dominant themes and Isabella assumes the leading
role in the aftermath of Granada's surrender. The final "blessed
change" is brought about when Alroahide fulfills the vows she made
to the Christian God in her distress, and Queen Isabella bestows
upon her, as an emblem of her transformation, the Christian name
/
of "Isabella of Granada,"
The conquest of Granada has become what Isabella prophesied
in her first speech—a restoration; it is not, finally, brought
about through military conquest, but through the interventions of
a ghost and through Isabella’s mercy, Conquest becomes transformed
into blessing, lovers are reconciled, pagans are converted to the
Christian faith, and Almanzor takes up the banner of "great Ferdinand
and Isabel of Spain!" The world which existed apart from the heroic
passion of love as delineated by Isabella, that world, which was
ordered by self-interest and lust for power, in which Fortune was
worshipped as a supreme deity, has reaped justice and death. On
the other hand, there is the reconciling and ordering power of love
and mercy presented in the form of Spain's Queen Isabella; she
announces the final "blessed change," and Granada emerges, by
virtue of the grace extended to its chief lovers, as one of
Dryden's emblems of the workings of providence in the civitas
terrena


Section III
In The Conquest of Granada, the "blessed" changes and
the "benefits of fate" are not simply historical processes which
affect nations? the processes of transformation and change also
work upon individual characters within the political-social unit.
In fact, the larger political changes take place only after and as
a result of the dramatic changes effected upon individuals within
Granada, Not surprisingly, the transformations and changes which
take place are facilitated largely through love, Queen Isabella
is the play’s chief exponent of heroic love, but she is a fixed
point of reference toward which all lovers gravitate. Dramatically,
she is the articulate, single point around which a very large cast
of shifting figures revolves. Those not held by the power of
"heroic love" fly off and die like planets not subject to the power
which holds the ordered universe together. The power of heroic
love is displayed in the two sets of lovers, Oznyn and Benzayda,
and Almnzor and Almahide, who undergo separate but parallel series
of events which carry them toward the same end—inclusion in
Isabella's kingdom of heroic love,
Ozmyn and Benzayda are not difficult to follow in the
course of their love because they both possess constants—their
virtue and their love for one another. What is not constant is
the political climate of Granada; its fluctuations are due, in
89


90
largo,part, to the hatred generated between its two most prominent
families, the Zegrys and the Abencerrages. The Zegrys seek revenge
for the death of Tarifa, son of Selin and brother to Benzayda, at
the hands of Ozrnyn, an Abencerrage. It is revealed that Tarifa,
true to the Zegry's penchant for evil, exchanged a blunted cane for
a ”steel-pointed dart" in a game of "juego de canas," and was killed
by Ozmyn in self-defence. The Abencerrages, on the other hand, are
a virtuous and loyal family whose main infamy in the eyes of the
Zegrys is that "Their mongrel race is mixed with Christian breed: /
Henc8 'tis that they those dogs in prisons feed" (Part I, Act I,
sc, i), Abdelmelech establishes’the character of the Abencerrages
by claiming the highest of the Christian virtues as the standard by
which the family conducts itself:
Our holy prophet wills, that charity
Should even to birds and beasts extended bej
None knows what fate is for himself designed.}
The thought of human chance should make us kind.
(Part I, Act I, sc, i)
The Zegry's desire for revenge gains a temporary triumph
when Ozmyn is captured in a skirmish between the rebellions Zegrys
and the loyal Abencerrages and turned over to Selin to be disposed
of as Selin sees fit. Out of this situation arises the first
evidence of the workings of a process which Ozmyn sees as the
"benefit of fate," When Benzayda is called upon to perform the
execution of the slayer of her brother, she first pities and then
falls in love with Ozmyn, They both flee the wrath of Selin, hoping
to find refuge and protection in Abeñamar, Ozmyn's father, Oznyn


91
describes the danger which he has undergone to his father in terms
of a "blessing," a "benefit of fate." He sees their love for one
another as a paradox, beginning in a set of circumstances created
by a desire for revenge. Even Benzayda discerns a process which
begins in suffering and ends with loves "His manly suffering my
esteem did move;/That bred compassion, and compassion love" (Part I,
Act V, sc, i). But Abenamar does not appreciate the paradox; when
he discovers that Benzayda is a Zegry, he demands that Ozmyn give
her up, Abenamer's "murdering will." leaves the lovers with no
sanctuary:
Qzayn. Thus then, secured of what we hold most dear
(Each other's love) we'll go - I know not where.
For where, alas, should we our flight begin?
The foe's without; our parents are within,
(Part I, Act V, sc, i)
Benzayda urges that they still consider themselves blest in one
another and let whatever force governs the world take care of all
else:
\
Benzayda, I'll fly to you, and you shall fly to me;
Our flight but to each other's arms shall be.
To providence and chance permit .the rest;
Let üiTbut love enough» and we are blest.
(Part I, Act V, sc, i)
Part I ervis with the report that Ozmyn and Benzayda have
fled the city. Part II begins with their capture by the Christian
forces and. the threat to Ozmyn's life described in Section II of
this chapter. In spite of the vacillations of their fortunes, their
love remains constant and wins the admiration of Queen Isabella,


92
who then offers them sanctuary from what Benzayda describes as the
"blows" of fate and Osmvn describes as the "contagion" in his fate,
Benzayda responds to the offer of mercy: "The frowns of fate we
will no longer fear:/ill fate, great queen, can never find us here"
(Part II, Act I, sc, i). From the evidence of her intervention on
their behalf, Benzayda and Ozmyn assume that it is within the powers
of the Spanish Queen to stop the vacillations of fortune and the
"frowns" of fate,
The hatred of their fathers draws the lovers from the
protection of Queen Isabella back into a world which seems to be
dominated by fortune and desire for revenge. It is soon apparent,
however, that the virtuous love shared by Csmyn and Benzayda is
capable of conquering the hearts of those who have sworn vengeance,
Selin, Benzayda's father, is the first to be vanquished, Ozmyn
protects Selin from an attack by his own father, Abenamar, and
discovers that in this act he has won Selin’s forgiveness, Selin
first addresses Benzayda, "I have been much to blame;/But let your
goodness expiate for my sha.me, . and then turns to Oznyn to
predict that "Even that hard father yet may one day be/By kindness
vanquished, as you vanquished me; , , ,M (Part II, Act II, sc. i),
Selin's prophesy is fulfilled when Benzayda and Ozmyn display their
loyalty and love for one another before Abenamar, Selin himself
asks, "This virtue would even savages subdue;/And shall it want
the power to vanquish you?" Abenamar answers, using the vocabulary
established by Selin and extending the metaphor of battle:
Yes, I am vanquished! The fierce conflict's past,


Full Text
THE
DRYDEN’S
METAPHOR OF CONQUEST IN
THE CONQUEST OF GRANADA
By
GAIL H. COMPTON
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1968

Copyright by
Gail H, Comoton
1963

To my Mother and
the Memory of my Father

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
In the preparation of this dissertation I have incurred
nary debts of gratitude which it is my pleasure to acknowledge.
I am very grateful to Mr, Ray Jones and the staff of ths reference
department of the University of Florida library whoso courtesies
and assistance, especially in efficiently furnishing me with materials
from other libraries, have been most valuable, I wish to acknow¬
ledge my gratitude to Dr. Ants Oras and Dr. Eugene Ashby Hammond
for giving of their time to serve on my dissertation committee,
Finally, I am deeply indebted to my director, Dr, Aubrey Williams,
who first suggested Dryden's play as a topic, and whose patience
and impatience as teacher and critic have been equally invaluable,
iv

PREFACE
Sir William Davenant's The Siege of Rhodes, produced in
I658, set a precedent for a whole series of Restoration heroic plays
dealing with the siege or conquest of a city or nation. In the 1660'
and 1070's alone the following "siege" plays were produced: The
Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, or The Indian Emperor by John
Dryden; The Siege of Constantinople by Henry Nevil Payne; The
Siege of Memphis, or The Ambitious Queen by Thomas D'Urfey; The
Destruction of Jerusalem (two parts) by John Crowne; The Siege of
Babylon by Samel Fordage; and The Destruction of Troy by John
Banks, Of these plays, only William Davenant's Siege of Rhodes and
Dryden's The Indian Emperor and his two-part play The Conquest of
Granada, produced in 1670, are included in modern anthologies of
Restoration drama, but the number of plays written and produced
during the Restoration in which siege, destruction and conquest
were important elements seems to indicate that the use of these
subjects had reached such an extent that they could b9 called a
convention. Of course, Dryden's plays were among the earliest of
the siege or conquest plays in the heroic genre, and may themselves
have played a large role in making such plays popular fare.
What precisely brought about this wide-spread use of
siege and conquest for the heroic play would entail research
dealing with material beyond the scope of this dissertation, but
v

vi
Dryden himself made it clear in the essay "Of Heroic Plays" that he
considered the epic to be the source of many of the elements of his
heroic play, The Conquest of Granada; specifically, he mentions the
hero and the fable as the two main elements which the heroic play
owed to the epic, or heroic poem, as Dryden called it. The two
epics which Dryden cites, however, also deal with siege and conquest;
Homer's Iliad and Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered both provide examples
of heroic endeavors in the context of destruction and conquest. In
addition to these epics, Dryden most certainly owed a.debt to
several of the Spanish histories of the conquest of Granada, and,
to some extent, to the literature which developed from them, in
particular, the French romance by Georges de Scudery called Almahide.
It should be noticed that most of the sources are Christian
literature or histories, and it is with these, rather than the
pagan epic, that Dryden's concept of conquest has the most affinity.
Dryden's distinctive use of the conquest theme In The Conquest of
Granada is shaped, in part, by his concept of the role of Frovidence
in the history of nations and the paradox of evil and good, de¬
struction and restoration, which characterize the historical pro¬
cesses under the rule of Providence. These latter elements are
aspects of the subject of conquest to be found only in the Christian
literature which Dryden acknowledges as sources—Jerusalem Delivered
and the Spanish histories.
Although it is important to recognize the thematic re¬
lationship of the sources to Dryden's play, the study of these
sources alone will not reveal fully the complexity of Dryden's use
of the conquest theme in The Conquest of Granada. A close in-

vil
vestigation of the imagery of destruction and conquest as it is
used in relation to specific characters in the play reveals the
extent to -which Dryden adapted the literary and historical accounts
of heroic conquest to his own particular concept of heroic virtue and
love. Conquest becomes a rich metaphor in Dryden’s work, one which
describes a process that encompasses human flux from the smallest
unit of the single individual to the larger unit of political order.
Conquest, as defined in the context of Dryden's play, is a process
of destruction and restoration.
The approach which this dissertation takes is to begin
with the sources, emphasizing the hero and the "fable" as did Dryden,
but attempting, at the same time, to go beyond the obvious sim¬
ilarities with the .epic sources to point out the unique problems
which faced Dryden in adapting both the epic hero and the fable
to an essentially Christian concept of conquest. The last two
chapters deal almost exclusively with specific characters in the
play and their participation in the conquest of Granada,

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv
PREFACE . . v
CHAPTER
I. SOURCES 1
Section I. ............. . 3
Section II ........ . 14
NOTES 29
II. DESTRUCTION ..... 32
NOTES 62
III. PROVIDENTIAL CHANGE AND RESTORATION .... 65
Section I.... ........... 6?
Section II. ••••«•••.*••• 81
Section III. 89
NOTES Ill
CONCLUSION 114
NOTES 120
LIST OF WORKS CITED 121
viii

CHAPTER I
SOURCES
In order to understand, even in part, the use of the
conquest metaphor and the allied images of destruction and restoration
in Dryden's Conquest of Granada, it will be helpful to approach
the play first through the specific traditions within which Dryden
placed perhaps his most ambitious heroic play. As a result of a
flurry of objections to the moral implications of the play, Dryden
felt it necessary to justify his hero and the values expressed in
the play. These justifications took the form of establishing several
literary and historical precedents for the play's hero and its
subject matter.
Interestingly enough, of the two epic sources which Dryden
judges to be most relevant to the understanding of the nature of
his hero, Almanzor, only one contains a similarity which sheds
light on the hero’s relationship to the conquest theme of The Conquest
of Granada; Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, with its Christian conquest
of Jerusalem, comes much closer to containing a parallel to Dryden's
vision of conquest than does the Iliad with its pagan conquest of
Troy; Rinaldo is much closer in spirit to Almanzor than is Achilles,
In addition to establishing the literary ancestry of his
1

2
hero, Dryden was concerned to establish what many seventeenth century
critics felt to be the most important aspect of the epic—the
"fable," or moral. The Iliad provided Dryden with the earliest and.
most prestigious example of the fable of civil discord which he
said provided the moral foundation of The Conquest of Granada, yet,
almost lost in his acknowledgements in "Of Heroic Plays" is a brief
allusion to a "history of Spain." There are several sixteenth
and seventeenth century Spanish histories which drew from the conquest
of Granada the same political moral as Dryden drew from the Iliad—
discord destroys a state. Yet the several Spanish-Catholic his¬
tories which might have been available to Dryden take the moral, a
step further, expanding the conquest of Granada into an emblem
which exemplifies a special manifestation of Providential design.
The impression received from these justifications through
acknowledgement of sources is that Dryden himself felt that the
hero and the fable were pivotal points in understanding the play.
It is true, however, that a failure to take Dryden's sketchy hints
about the nature of the hero and the fable and delve further into
their significance in relation to the various sources cited may
give only an inadequate and superficial understanding of their
function in The Conquest of Granada.

Section I
In the wake of the first performances of The Conquest of
Granada, perhaps John Dryden's greatest and most epic dramatic en¬
deavor, critical attacks in the form of several satiric "censures"
appeared in print, followed closely by several "vindications" and
replies to the vindications. Besides quibbling about the decorum
of certain of Dryden's metaphors and images, the attackers found
what they felt was rich satiric material in the play's hero, Almanzor,
The first of the series of censures and vindications published in
l6?3, The Censure of the Rota, On Mr, Driden's Conquest of Granada,
contains in one short statement the basic objections to the play
and its hero. Speaking of Dryden, the author asserts that "this
Zany of Columbus has discover'd a Poetical World of greater extent
then £sic3 the Naturall, peopled with Atlantick Colony’s of nationall
creatures, Astrall Spirits, Ghosts, & Idols, more various then even
the Indians worshipt and Heroes, more lawless then their Savages."^-
Further, Almanzor's lawlessness is said to be specifically akin to
Hobbes' state of war, Hobbes is conjured like an evil spirit whose
very presence contaminates and condemns the play, and his supposed
advocacy of lawlessness is linked with a claim attributed to Dryden
that poetic heroes are not to be confined "to the narrow walks of
2
other common Mortals, ..." As many another contemporary critic
of Hobbes' ideas had done, the anonymous writer of the Censure
3

4
was quick to claim Hobbes' assumption of a theoretical original
savage and warlike state and his theory of self-interest as under¬
mining all concepts of order. By describing a hero whose actions,
even in part, reflected disobedience to established authority, no
matter the form, Dryden incurred the same kind of criticism.
The main objections to the "lawlessness" of the play
Bryden recognized as concentrating on the nature of Almanzor, who,
3
he claimed, was the "one great exception" made to the Conquest;
consequently, Dryden shapes his defense of the piny around the
figure of Almanzor. From both the "Dedication" of the Conquest
and the prefatory, "Of Heroic Plays," one can extract some of the
elements which Dryden felt went into the formation of the "fable"
of The Conquest and its hero. Far from being casual appendices to
the events and characters of the play, the references to models,
both literary and historical, pagan and Christian, indicate the
dimensions which Dryden visualized for the heroic drama. Specifically,
it was important to Dryden that his hero be understood as a part
Of a heroic tradition that could be traced through Christian as
well as classical literature,
A great part of Dryden's justification for his hero
appears in the form of literary ancestry. The Greek patriarch of
Alxtuizor's fictional ancestry is Achilles; then, skipping to the
Italian Renaissance, Dryden chooses Tasso's Rinaldo, from the
Christian epic Jerusalem Delivered arri, from a contemporary French
work, Artaban of Calprenede's Hymen's Praeludia: or, Love^
Masterpiece.

5
The importance of Dryden's establishment of Almanzor's
literary ancestry has generally been ignored in readings of the play.
In overlooking this obvious point, critics have missed an important
indication of the political and moral complexity of the heroic
play as Dryden saw it. Besides their valor as warriors, the three
heroes hold in common a rebellions spirit, and a tenuous relation¬
ship with the authority figure of their particular literary land¬
scape. Cn this similarity Dryden is most insistent; both Achilles's
and Rinaldo's acts of rebellion are emphasized in the essay. When
his wrath is moved, Achilles is prevented from attacking Agamemnon
only by ths hand of Minerva; Rinaldo refuses to b9 judged by his
general for killing a fellow knight, both the killing and the con¬
sequent rebellion stemming from his fiery, uncontrollable temper.
Artaban is mentioned only ones in the essay, but both his physical
description and his history closely parallel Almanzor's. The fol¬
lowing account of a first meeting with Artaban is uttered by Elisa,
who eventually becomes the object of his rather violent love;
His visage and port shewed the evidence of
something so great and noble, as in spite of
the malicious noise that ran about the World
of his obscure Birth, I could not consider him
at a less rate, than if his Temples had been
impaled with a regal Diadem; He was then with¬
out Arms, and his head uncovered, which gave
me the greater license to remark, as well the
sparkling vivacity in his eyes, the perfect
proportions and kindred of all the features in
his visage; ... in all the regards and line¬
aments of his face, there appeared a natural
fierceness, which though h9 then endeavoured
in our presence to keep within a cover of
respect, yet he could not hide it so hansomely,
but we saw something through those stoopings
of his spirit that made him born to command

6
others, born to dis-esteem the whole World,
and think it held none fit to be his Rival
in glory: , . .
The similarities between Artaban and Almanzor are obvious? each is
a fierce and rather savage warrior of unknown birth whose nobility
of spirit shines through a foreboding and dark visage. In both
cases, the physical description implies an undercurrent of dis¬
ruptive violence. The unlucky king in whose service Artaban fights
is Tigranes. Apparently, Artaban is a free agent, acknowledging
allegiance to no country, and, consequently, Tigranes' power over
him is limited, Artaban's rebellion against the king's authority
is justified in terms which Dryden repeats in Almanzor's defence—
Artaban was not "born in [TigranesJ service," but serves him out
of an “unconstrained Will, Thus when Tigranes refuses to grant
the freedom he has promised the captured Elisa and her mother,
Artaban's consequent rebellion is not against his rightful king, but
against one who is unable to lay claim to a command over his will,
and who has done an injustice while acting a kingly role. As for
Almanzor, charged with "changing sides," he is justified in that
"He is not born their subject whom he serves, and he is injured
by them to a very high degree."^ It might also have been said in
their defence that neither Artaban nor Almanzor were causes of
Tigranes' and Boabdelin's ruins? the "order" w*hich the heroes
disrupt is, in both cases, precarious and, for the most part,
illusory. For both heroes birth becomes a pivotal point: neither
hero is born under the king against whom h9 rebels^ neither hero
knows initially any ties of blood nor acknowledges any authority?

7
both, however, come to their final heroic apotheoses complete with
country, recognized lineage, and mistress.
Most source studi.es on The Conquest include one other
possible French source, Georges de Scudery's Almahide, ou, l'esclave
Reyne, a romance dealing with the conquest of Granada. Following
Gerard Langbaigne's accusation of plagiarism in An Account of the
English Dramatic Poets, very little was done to contravene the
impression that Dryden's play was little more than a translation
or adaptation of the French work until Montague Summers' intro¬
duction to Dryden's Dramatic Works. Summers' conclusion about the
relationship between the English heroic play and the French romance
restored the balance:
It is quite plain that Dryden has taken some¬
thing, but not much, merely a hint, from Idle
de Scudery's romance Almahide, ou 1'Esclave
Reine, three parts, Paris, I0ÓO-Ó3," ,
Dryden had borrowed an incident here and
there from Almahide, but these ha has com¬
muted and made entirely his own.'
Just how little Dryden depended on de Scudéry is apparent
in the character of Almanzor. Young Ponce de Leon, Almanzor's
counterpart in Almahide, enters Granada as a slave in order to be
near Amihita, or as she is known in Granada, Almahide. He remains
a slave, constantly attempting to please his "sovereign" lady,
casting a very pale shadow beside that of Dryden's warrior-hero.
The illustrious Ponce de Leon is tall,
and the best proportion'd person in the World;
and his shape is so perfect in every part,
that the strictest Rules of painting can find
nothing therein, but what is absolutely rare.

8
His demeanour and his aspect so Noble and full
of Majesty, that they alone would suffice to
evidence the Grandeur of his Birth, and the
antiquity of that Royal Race from which he is
descended. So fair-hair'd as can possibly be
express'd, which is the more wonderful among
the Complexions of Spain, which are generally
black. His bright and full Eyes are of deep
Blue, but so sweet and charming, that they gain _
as many Hearts as they dart forth Glances? . . .
The "sweetness" of Ponce's appearance and manner is in keeping with a
work whose pages are filled with leisurely discourse and courtly
debate. There are little or no rough edges to Ponce's figure or
character? his chief concern is to learn the proper subservience
due the love-bondage which he serves under Almahide's "absolute
Power." Almanzor's role in the movement of the affairs of Granada,
and his relationship with Almahide, are so sufficiently different
from de Scudéry's Ponce as to warrant declaring Dryden's independence
on this point.
It seems that Dryden chose Almanzor's literary ancestry
carefully. In calling attention to the qualities of each one of
the heroes of the Iliad, Jerusalem Delivered, and Hymen's Praeludia,
Dryden implicitly underlines the one fundamental quality that they
share: imperfection. In the "Dedication of the Aeneis," moreover,
Dryden makes it clear that there are three epic poems which stand
in lofty solitude in relation to the surrounding literary landscape:
"There have been but one great Ilias, and one Aeneis, in so many
ages. The next, but the next with a long interval betwixt, was the
Jerusalem: I mean not so much in distance of time, as in excel-
q
lency. The Aeneis, however, in spite of its greatness, is excluded

9
from relationship with the Conquest, because of the nature of its hero—
his is perfect virtue.
The debate over heroic perfection or imperfection is pivotal
to an understanding of Almanzor and his place in the events of The
Conquest. Of the several sources mentioned by Dryden, two epics and
one romance contain a heroic figure of imperfect virtue: Achilles
of the Iliad, Rinaldo of Jerusalem Delivered, and Artaban of Hymen * s
Praeludia, and from their imperfections come discord and "perturbations.”
But in spite of these well-known precedents, Dryden found himself
in the position of having to justify, on moral grounds, his use of
the flawed hero. The practice of referring to a flawed character
as "heroic" did not go undisputed in the seventeenth century, RenS
Rapin, for example, felt that the word "heroic" was understood to
mean that which was above the ordinary virtue of man.^ The heroic
poem and its hero were to present examples which were to be imitated,
thereby producing good princes and loyal subjects, and contributing
to the stability of the state. Dryden himself later expressed this
view in his "Dedication of the Aeneis" when he described the heroic
poem as "undoubtedly the greatest work which the soul of man is
capable to perform. The design of it is to form the mind to heroic
virtue by example,"^ Dryden also maintained, however, that a heroic
poem could furnish a kind of moral negative, to be imitated only in
the reverse, and Achi3J.es remained his prime piece of evidence for
the defense:
The shining quality of an epic hero, his mag¬
nanimity, his constancy, his patience, his
piety, or whatever characteristical virtue

10
his poet gives him raises first our admiration.
We are naturally prone to imitate what we ad¬
mire; and frequent acts produce a habit. If
the hero's chief quality be vicious as, for
example, the choler and obstinate desire of
vengeance in Achilles, yet the moral is in¬
structive: and besides, we are informed in
the very proposition of the Iliads, that this
anger was pernicious; that it brought a thousand
ills on the Grecian camp. The courage of Achilles
is proposed to imitation, not his pride and
disobedience in general, nor his brutal cruelty
to his dead enemy, nor the selling of his body
to his father. We abhor these actions while
we read them; and what we abhor we never im¬
itate, The poet only shews them, like rocks
or quicksands, to be shunned.^
In the same way, Dryden makes a further distinction—a hero
may be of imperfect virtue and yet be poetically good: "... the
critics have concluded that it is not necessary the manners of
the hero should be virtuous. They are poetically good, if they
are of a piece: though, where a character of perfect virtue is
set before us, it is more lovely; for there the whole hero is to
13
be imitated," The distinction made between aesthetic perfection
and moral perfection was a dangerous one for Dryden's to make, but
he keeps the moral foundations of poetry intact by allowing the
actions and manners of epic heroes "to be shunned,"
The theory of negative moral example apparently subjected
Dryden to the censure of the moral watchdogs of his own day. The
cries of "libertine", "atheist", and "Hobbesian" aimed at Dryden
were based on evidence from the actions of his imperfect characters,
and upon the theory that poetry and drama, in particular, were to
present ideal models worthy of imitation. It was considered best
for public morality that the artist seek an imitative reaction

11
rather than demand the careful moral discernment called for in
selecting and rejecting "pernicious" actions.
A highly flammable point in the whole discussion about
the nature of the hero was the relationship of the hero to political
order, and Dryden's attempt to present an imperfect hero and the
dissolution of a particularly precarious "order" in Granada was so
completely misconstrued as to overshadow the character transformations
and the order that ultimately followed the dissolution, Almanzor's
relationship to order changes as he himself changes, and it is this
subtle shift that Dryden's critics missed—for them, Almanzor's
initial imperfections and his contributions to the disruptive tur¬
moils of Granada were sufficient evidence from which to deduce the
immorality of The Conquest of Granada. Dryden was conscious of the
'quaking earth' that he walked upon when the imperfectly controlled
passions of a flawed hero were to be depicted. By making heroic
distortion, change and conflict and the disorders they produced
one of the elements of a heroic play Dryden courted misunderstanding.
Twentieth century criticism has had the same difficulty
with Almanzor's huge imperfections and sometimes grotesque claims
to independence as did Dryden's contemporaries. Almanzor, as seen
by most critics, stands frozen in a slightly ridiculous posture
of defiance with the words, "I alone am King of me," issuing from
his lips. In his book, Dryden's Major Plays, Bruce King suggests
that the calculated reaction to Almanzor was to have been laughter,
a view valid only, it seems .to me, if we see Almanzor's almost comic
ability at self-distortion as his only stance. He is sometimes

12
obviously ridiculous in his estimations of his own powers, and these
distortions almost prove fatal to himself and others, but Almanzor's
self-image undergoes alteration as the play progresses, and this
change, among others, I think demands that we consider Almanzor as
more than a simple parody of the epic hero. On the other hand, Arthur
C. Kirsch, in Dryden's Heroic Drama, attempts to explain Almanzor and
his significance to the seventeenth century audience by discovering
a relationship between Corneille's theory of the hero and the theory
that went into the creation of Dryden's heroic warrior. Kirsch
attempts to establish a relationship between Almanzor's concept
of the freedom of human will and Corneille's concept which is iden¬
tified as la gloire, or, as he quotes Paul Benecheu, "the power
assumed by the ego in escaping all bondage," the virtue which "exists
at the point where the natural cry of pride encounters the sublime
14
of liberty." This concept of human freedom, however, remains
relevant to Almanzor only up to his encounter with his mother's
ghost and the beginnings of his doubts about his own concept of
human liberty.
In most cases, criticism has ignored the possibility of
a Restoration hero whose self-concept undergoes drastic alteration.
Only recently has John Winterbottom’s contention that Almanzor
experiences a highly complex process of "education"^ won the
admission that this Restoration hero in particular might be more
complex than a stereotype which can be explained simply in terms
of impossible conflicts between passion and honor, or seen as a
kind of popular seventeenth century super-hero who is merely a
grotesque exaggeration of the epic hero. This admission has opened

13
the door to the possibility that Dryden intended the portrait of
Almanzor to be, not only a dramatic criticism of the concept of the
egotistical, super-hero in both the heroic poem and the heroic
play, but, in addition, that the portrait was intended to depict
the evolution of the hero from primitive, pagan values to Christian
values.
Given the stereotype of the Restoration hero which has
been impressed on all Restoration heroic drama by many twentieth
century critics, it is not surprising that the total scope and sweep
of Dryden's vision has been obscured in readings of The Conquest
of Granada. According to the 'formula' readings, the heroic drama
is supposed to contain conflicts of honor vs. passion, or reason
vs. passion, and the place to look for such conflicts is in the
form of the debate. Consequently, each debate has been dissected
and re-dissected for the "meat" of the drama, resulting in a
neglect of the shifts in character and relationships which occur
in the play and lsnd it continuity. The Almanzor who argues with
King Boabdelin in Part I, Act I, scene i is not exactly the same
Almanzor speaking to King Ferdinand in Fart II, Act V, scene ii.
One cannot define Almanzor by extracting one or two debates or
isolated rodomontades. Almanzor is a creature of the world de¬
picted in The Conquest, and that world is subject to violent and
successive upheavals

Section II
It was necessary for Dryden to spell out in detail the
moral implications of each of the epic predecessors of The Conquest.
In keeping with the majority of the seventeenth century readings
of the Iliad, he places it in the moral spectrum of those pieces
of literature whose themes underscore a principle of order. George
Chapman's l6l6 dedication to the Earl of Somerset, placed before
the first edition of his translation of The Iliads, must have been
familiar to most seventeenth century admirers of this epic. Chapman’s
own estimation of the moral content of the Homeric epics was in
terms of the predominant charactei* of each of the heroes, Achilles
and Odysseus. Addressing Robert, Earl of Somerset, in a dedicatory
epistle to the Odyssey, Chapman summarizes the epics:
And that your lordship may in his
([Homer's[] Face, take view of his Minds the
first word of his Iliads, is tiryvtv, wrath;
the first word of his Cdysses, av6pg, Man:
contracting in either word, his each workes
Proposition. In one, Predominant Perturbation<
in the other, over-ruling Wjsedóme; in one,
the Bodies fervour and fashion of outward
Fortitude, to all possible height of Heroicall
Action; in the other, the Mindes inward,
constant and unconquered Empire; unbroken,
unaltered, with an^most insolent, and tyr¬
annous infliction
Order here is defined as the ideal condition of an inward kingdom,
Chapman makes a clear distinction between "outward Fortitude,"
14

15
leading to "Heroica!! Action,” am the mind's "inward, constant, and
unconquered Empire,” What Chapman means by the inward empire is
more clearly defined in the "Epistle Dedicatory" to The Iliads. As
is found in many dedications, Chapman both compliments his royal
patron and presents to him an ideal pattern for conduct. Dedicated
to "the High 3orne Prince of men, Henrie Thrice Royall inheritor
to the united kingdomss of Great Brittaine, &c,," the charge is
for the creation of the inward empire with the emphasis on the
blessedness that such a kingdom bestows:
Since perfect happiness, by Princes sought,
Is not with birth, borne, nor Exchequers bought;
Nor followes in great Traines; nor is possest
With any outward State; but makes him blest
That govemes inward; and beholdeth theare,
All his affections stand about him bare;
That by his power can send to Towre, and death,
All traitrous passions; marshalling beneath
His justice, his mere will; and in his minde
Holds such a scepter, as can keep confinde
His whole lifes actions in the royall bounds
Of Vertue and Religion; and their grounds
Takes in, to sow his honours, his delights
And complete empire: , , ,
The implied difference between the two epics, the one de¬
picting disorder, the other depicting the establishment of an ideal empire,
does not necessarily mean, however, that Chapman found Odysseus the
embodiment of absolute perfection throughout the whole of the work,
George de Forest Lord in his book, Homeric Renaissance: the Odyssey of
George Chapman, suggests that. Chapman, rather than presenting a
portrait of moral perfection in Odysseus, represents more what he
believed to be Homer's original concept by placing emphasis upon
the evolution of the hero towards the establishment of the interior

16
empire, concurring with his struggle to return to Ithaca:.
"Over-ruling Wisdome" and "the minds inward,
constant, and unconquere'd Empire" are not,
as they suggest, qualities which Chapman felt
characterized Ulysses throughout, but qualities
on which his successful return home and his
rehabilitation of Ithaca and his household
depend, . , . Chapman, in fact, has Ulysses
• as an emergent, dynamic character,, one beset
by passions that constantly threatened to
destroy him, but struggling through repeated
failure toward an ideal which he very gradually
discovered in the process, °
Chapman believed that Odysseus' journey to Ithaca and his as¬
sumption of his rightful place as king was meant to be an allegory
for the inward "journey" and the establishment of the inward empire.
Generally, Achilles, Odysseus' counterpart, was not viewed
in terms of any such evolutionary process; wrath was his constant
contribution toward the "Predominant Perturbation" which characterised
the landscape of the Iliad. And, as a work in which disorder seemed
to be the predominant state, it was sometimes difficult for seven¬
teenth. century critics to fit the Iliad into a moral spectrum;
Achilles' disruptive independence made him a problematic hero indeed.
Chapman's tendency to assert what he felt to be the moral
import of Homer's epics appealed to the seventeenth century. The
political and moral implications of the epic were of utmost importance
to seventeenth century critics, and the vehicle for their communication
was generally agreed to be the moral or "fable". For example, where
the epic was concerned, the combatants in the battle of the ancients
and the moderns used the fable to gauge the worth of the work of
art and the period that produced it. In a few instances the term

1?
"fable" came to mean more than a devised story; it indicated a story
or action with moral depth, Sven when a distinction was made between
fable (story) and moral, the relationship between the two was deemed
close indeed—so close that one is hardly mentioned without the
other, Francis Bacon thus defined "Poesy Parabolical": "That is,
when the Secrets and Mysteries of Religion, Pollicy, or Philosophy,
20
are involved in Fables or Parables," When Bacon maintained a dis¬
tinction between fable and moral, he claimsd that the fable (story)
came first and then the moral was devised, rather than the moral
21
providing the foundation upon which the story was framed, Rapin,
following Aristotle, listed the essential elements of the epic as
"Fables, Morality, Thoughts, and Words," There is a tendency,
however, for Rapin.to use "fable" in the sense that was to become
a part of seventeenth century critical jargon used in relation to
the epic: in the one word, "fable", there is combined the meanings
"story" and "moral". In relating the "fable" of the Iliad, Rapin
cannot resist inserting words and phrases highly suggestive of
the moral flaws which he felt marred the work:
The Fable of the Iliad is, that one of the
Chiefs of the Grecian Army, being dissatisfied
with the General, retires from the Camp,
without considering his Duty, or hearkening
to Reason, or the Advice of his Friends; and
deserts the Public Interest and that of the
State, to indulge a Surly Morose Humour,
and yield himself up to the Violence of his
Resentments: ...
Finding in Achilles all the flaws that were felt to characterize
the chaotic, barbarous age in which Homer wrote, Rapin judges

18
the Greek warrior in comparison with the ideal hero, Aeneas, and
finds him to be the representative anti-hero»
Let ns now make a Comparison between these
two Fables £the Iliad and the Aeneidl, and
measure the Grandeur of the two Heroes, by
that of their Actions, The Action of
Achilles, is destructive of his Country,
and of his own Party, as Homer Himself acknow¬
ledges: That of Aeneas, is of signal Ad¬
vantage and Glory to his Country; the Motive
of the former, is Passion; of the latter,
Vertue. The Action of Achilles, is occasion'd
by the Death of Patroclus, his best Friend;
The Action of Aeneas, by the Liberty he
endeavour'd to obtain for his Gods and his
Father, , . . The one is Heroick, that is,
above the ordinary Vertue of Man, for so
Aristotle defines Heroic Vertue in his Ethicks:
The other, is not so much as Rational, but
implies a Character of Brutality, which ac¬
cording to the same Aristotle, is a Vice
directly opposite to the Heroic Vertue; for
as the one is above lían, so the other is far
below him. ^
While admitting of Tasso's argument that the intent of
24
Homer was “but to shew us how prejudicial Discord is to any Party,"
Rapin cannot resist declaring the age of Homer as a kind of moral
Dark Ages in which "Moderation and Justice were Vertues not
25
known." Homer's great failing is seen by Rapin in terms of
Achilles' relationship with the Greek "party". Achilles' chief
characteristic is that he is "independent", a characteristic pre¬
judicial to the relationship between the work of art and the
society for which it was supposed to have been written in that it
encourages rebellion and discord. It was this very independence
of spirit found in Almanzor that drew enraged outcries from Dryden's
critics

19
Dryden's analysis of the fables of the Iliad and the
Aeneid were not far different from Rapin's, with one important
exceptions his conclusions concerning the moral impact of the Iliad
on Greek society. Dryden, following Le Bossur placed the moral
first in order of conception in the writing of an heroic poems
"The first rule which Bossu prescribes to the writer of an heroic
poem, and which holds too by the same reason in all dramatic poetry,
is to make the moral of the work} that is, to lay down to yourself
what that precept of morality shall be, which you would insinuate
into the people; as, namely, Homer's (which I have copied in my
'Conquest of Granada,') was, that union preserves a commonwealth,
and discord destroys it; , . .
Dryden readily assumes that all great epics were written,
at least in part, to a contemporary political situation and that
their purpose was to "insinuate" a moral. The practice of dedicating
epics to illustrious persons is taken as a case in point. A
writer could indirectly claim moral rectitude for his work by
dedicating it to a living, virtuous "prince." Virgil had set a
precedent by addressing his epic to Augustus, his emperor. The
relationship between the hero of the epic and the person to whom it
is dedicated is a delicate one; the literary hero is both modeled
after the living hero, and provides a model for the living to
emulate. The problem then in creating an imperfect hero and
dedicating the creation to a prince or person of authority is clears
the author is open to the criticism that he corrupts those he should
teach by good example. Wanting to retain both Virgil and Homer on

20
the side of the angels, in support of order, Dryden basically accepts
Tasso’s view of the moral relationship between the Greek states and
the Iliad: The Iliad taught the value of order by a moral negative,
illustrating the disadvantages of disorder. Dryden claimed, in the
"Dedication of the Aeneis," that the difference between Achilles
and Aeneas as epic heroes lay in the fact that the two epics spoke
to widely divergent political situations: the Greek states wer9 in
a maelstrom of political unrest during Homer's time, and his method
of instructing them was by negative example, setting forth the
"ruinous effects of discord," Agamemnon, the commanding power,
and Achilles, the executive power of the Greeks, are separated,
2?
and disorder results; both are at fault, and both are punished, '
Virgil, on the other hand, considering the political history of Rome,
chose to support the rule of Augustus by compliment and good ex¬
ample, Augustus both gains divine extraction through Aeneas and
finds in him the example of the perfect prince—upon the living
28
prince falls the burden of emulating the literary hero. At the
same time that a prince is supported, his people are inspired with
respect toward him, giving obedience to his rule, thereby obtaining
their own happiness. Both approaches were considered by Dryden
to be morally and artistically valid, each answering to a contemporary
political condition, each infusing a moral of political significance.
The difference lies in the method by which the end is obtained:
in the Aeneid the living (Augustus, the Roman people) are "shadowed
in the person of Aeneas"---they are uplifted and protected by his
larger virtues, his divine extraction—while Homer holds up a

21
mirror, reflecting chaos and warning destruction.
That Dryden had felt these moral distinctions much earlier
than the writing of the dedication to the Aeneid translation is
evident from the manner in which he chose to defend Almanzor in
the preface of The Conquest, but perhaps even more revealing of
his concept of the relationship between a literary moral and the
audience to which it was addressed is the dedicatory preface ad¬
dressed to James, then Duke of York. By dedicating his heroic play
to the heir of the English throne, Dryden commits the work to its
relationship with the state toward which he felt a moral respon¬
sibility. The political relationship established between The
Conquest and the contemporary English scene is a complex one.
Spain, a Christian -nation, proves, like England and Rome, to be
29
"inexorable to peace, till they have fully vanquished."
Almanzor's evolution into the warrior-arm of Christian Spain is not
entirely unlike that of England's James, whose "opening of . . .
glory was like that of light: You shone to us from afar; and
disclosed your first beams on distant nations: Yet so, that the
lustre of them was spread abroad, and reflected brightly on your
native country.Finally, the political relationship between
Achilles, Almanzor's literary model, and James, the living prince,
is explicitly established. The relationship has both a positive
and a negative aspect; Achilles' strength and courage as a warrior
are attributes to be desired in a prince, but his wrath and the
“perturbations" it gives rise to are to be avoided. After having
described James's victories in both Europe and in England's naval

22
wars, Dryden concludes that these actions reveal in "your royal
highness an extreme concernment for the honour* of your country"-^—
a compliment with an implied exhortation» the perfect prince must
always and foremost be concerned for the honor of his country.
James' place in the scheme of the state is then made clear; both
he and his brother, the king, hold in common this concernment for
their country, and their relationship within the structure of the
state is likened to what Dryden conceived as Homer's division of
power within the Greek alliance; "in your two persons are eminent
the characters which Homer has given us of heroic virtue; the
32
commanding part in Agamemnon, and the executive in Achilles,
Both perfection and imperfection are implied; both compliment and
warning seem intended. In Agamemnon and Achilles Dryden found the
perfect balance between commanding and executive power. It would
be difficult indeed, however, for a reader to forget that this
balance is destroyed in the initial action of the Greek epic.
Later, Dryden was to translate the first book of the Iliad in
which is recorded the disintegrating relationship between Agamemnon
and Achilles, and Nestor's attempt to reconcile the two before
the Greek party is disrupted. Nestor addresses Achilles;
The head of action he, and thou the hand, --
Matchless thy force; but mightier his commands: . . .
Both from the Greek model and from the play itself James is subtly
reminded just how precarious is the balance between commander
and executor, Agamemnon's and Achilles' falling out results in
momentary disaster for the Greek cause; Prince Abdalla, the brother

23
to King Boabdelin of Granada, plots to seize the throne, laying the
city open to conquest. The figure that James is to emulate, how¬
ever, is Almanzor. With all of his human imperfections and flights
of passion, Almanzor is the one to show a prince of the realm
that a hero can learn obedience. The Conquest of Granada deals with
disintegration,' warning England against domestic turmoils, but
it also depicts the establishment of order, based, in part, upon
the hero's changing self-concept, Almanzor accepts, in the last
scene of the play, the "executive" position under Ferdinand and
Isabella, the Christian monarchs of Spain. The play instructs
both by negative example, and by asserting a Christian concept
of heroic virtues.
The order established in the closing scenes of The
Conquest is peculiarly Christian, and perhaps one of the most
important sources for the concept of emerging order depicted in
the play are the Spanish histories of the conquest of Granada.
In these histories the Iliad's "fable" finds expression in an
explicitly Christian context. The conquest of the last Moorish
stronghold on Spanish soil by the Christian monarchs, Ferdinand
and Isabella, gave rise to a flood of romances, histories, and
"historia-mixta," a mixture of romance and history best exemplified
by Ginés Perez de Hita's Historia de las Guerras Civiles de Granada.
Were one to wish to find sources for Dryden's Conquest of Granada
it would seem more fruitful to look to the Spanish histories of
the Moors in Spain, and their depiction of the final triumph of
the Christian forces over.the Moors in Granada than to the Greek

24
epic or the French romances,
The three best known histories of the Spanish conquest
of Granada were those of Juan de Mariana (1536-1624), Louis
Turquet de Mayerne (d. l6l8), and Ginas Perez de Hita (1544?-l605?).
Summers has already pointed out that in total effect Dryden's play
is much closer in tone to de Rita's work than to de Scudery’s
version of the conquest:
The whole atmosphere of Las Guerras
Civiles is that of Dryden's vivid and mag- -
nificently impetuous drama which has little
in common with the stately periods and ermined
longueurs^ of Mile de Scudéry's leisurely
romance.^
The spirit of a city besieged, of weakness breeding disorder, and
disorder, conquest, the spirit of rebellion and heroism, and the
establishment of a Christian order is nowhere more evident than in
the several accounts of the conquest of Granada by Spanish
historians. While most of these elements may well be found in de
Scudéry's Almahide, they are so scattered and dispersed within the
vast confines of the work that the accumulative effect is rather
one of courtly panorama than intensive struggles between individuals
within a city, and between a city and its besiegers.
Dryden's life-long fascination with histories and his
professed admiration of certain historiographers is well-known.
History, he felt, was a wise and generous instructor of the present,
and the process of writing history was to be a kind of moral re¬
duction: "all history is only the precepts of moral philosophy
35
reduced into examples." As artist, Dryden was to further distill

25
the materials of the historian: the ten years which it took Spain
to conquer Granada becomes a few days; Moorish kings who were his¬
torically uncle and nephew become brothers; the Granada which
opened its gates to the Christians after lengthy negotiations is
conquered in a single pitched battle. The purpose here is not
simply to compile evidence of Dryden*s originality; the kind of
criticism which belaboured Dryden with a lack of inventiveness is
no longer acceptable, and the criticism which answered by compiling
evidence to the contrary is unnecessary. What emerges in extracting
the changes which Dryden made in the historical material is his
emphasis upon the themes of conquest and change. By telescoping
historical events, shifting relationships, increasing the sense of
a city besieged from without and filled with political dissention
and love-intrigue within, Dryden intensifies the sense of disorder
and change which permeates the Spanish histories. In the play, war
is the encompassing action, a besieged city the setting, and only
Ferdinand and Isabella are exempt from the general disorder and
conflicts: brother is pitted against brother, sons against fathers,
daughter against father, lover against mistress, husband against
wife, family against family. Nowhere within Granada can one escape
conflict—nothing remains unchanged.
What may have attracted Dryden to the Spanish histories
was the presence of the very themes of conquest and order which
he found acceptable for the epic nature of heroic drama. The moral
which Dryden found in the Iliad was the same historical moral which
the Spanish historians drew from the events surrounding Granada

26
in the fifteenth century: discord destroys from within—an aphorism
Dryden found to be time of individual men as well as of cities and
nations. The reiterated theme of most of the historical and semi-
historical accounts of the conquest of the Moors was expressed by
Juan de Mariana in his Historia General de España, first published
in Latin in 1592, then translated into Spanish under the patronage
of Spain's Philip III, After describing the political struggle
taking place within Granada, between first Boabdil and his father,
Albohacen, and then between Boabdil and his uncle, Albohardil,
Mariana observes: "The Kingdom of the Moores decayed apace: Civil
Discord consumed them no less than the Enemy abroad.From the
evidences of discord, Lewis Turquet de Mayeme, whose Generali
Historie of Spaine was translated into English in 1612, concluded:
"These seditious changes were ordinary, and have alwaies beene
amongst the Arabians, who are inconstant, treacherous, ravishing
37
and ambitious, if there be any living," Generally, however, the
Moorish seditions and disorders were not attributed simply to the
"nature" of the Moor, but to his lacking Divine Grace. For the
Catholic writers of the history of the conquest of Granada, disorder
was not (as Hobbes would have it) a "natural" state of mankind;
it was the result of the absence of Divine Order permeating and
informing the temporal sphere. The Spanish histories, as a whole,
are concerned with representing the historical manifestations of
Divine Will: the "fable" underlying the histories is not simply that
discord reaps destruction, but that Providence brings order out of
discord through the instrument of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.

27
The role of the Christian monarchs was to bring a semblance or
reflection of Divine Order to pagan Granada. Mariana describes
Ferdinand and Isabella's entrance into Granada as the initiation
of a kind of Divine dispensation: their restoring and ordering
powers are most important in the historian's account:
King Ferdinand and Queen Elizabeth [Isabella]
being richly clothed, in the prime of their
Age, and having conquered that Kingdom
[Granada], seemed to appear more Majestick
than before: They shined above all others,
and were equal to themselves. Every one
looked upon them as more than Human, and sent
from Heaven for the Glory of Spain, It was
they that restored Justice, which before them
was corrupted, enacting excellent Laws for
the publick Benefit. They settled Religion,
restored Peace, and enlarged their Territories,
not only in Spain, but at the same time in
the utmost Bounds of the World.3°
For Dryden, also, true conquest becomes synonymous with
the reestablishment of order and Justice. With the conquest of
Granada in 1492, the cross supplanted the cresent for the last time
in Spain; however, it was established, not by a sudden dis¬
pensation of peace, but accomplished only after ten years of war,
fratricide, regicide, treason, rebellion, and general destruction.
The sense one gains from the Spanish histories is that of nations
conquered, governments supplanting one another, flux and violent
conflict on all sides, but the chord which is struck time and again
is that of the controlling power of Providence. Cities are conquered,
are built again and expand under the Christian monarchs. To miss
this same sense of the cycle of destruction, change, restoration
and expansion in Dryden's play and its significance in the portrait

28
of the hero, A Imanaor, is to miss the core of the drama

NOTES
1
Anonymous, The Censure of the Rota. On Mr, Driden's
Conquest of Granada (Oxford, 1673), pp, 13-14.
2
Ibid., p. 2.
3
"Of Heroic Plays," The Complete Works of John Dryden,
ed. Scott and Saintsbury (London, 1882), Vol, IV, p, 26, Here¬
after to be referred to as Works.
4
Gaultier de Coste La Calprenlde, Hymen’s Praeludia:
or. Love’s Masterpiece, . . . rendered into English by Robert
Loveday (London, I087), p. 181,
5
Ibid., p. 186,
6
"Of Heroic Plays," Works, Vol. IV, p. 28.
Dryden: The Dramatic Works, 9d. Montague Summers
(London, 1932), Vol, III, p. 5» Jerome Schweitzer in his book,
Georges de Scudery's Alsahide: Authorship, Analysis, Sources
and Structure (London, 1936), places the work in the canon of
Georges de Scudlry and his wife, Marie, It was generally con¬
sidered to be the work of Kadelene de Scudlry, his sister, writing
under the pseudonym of Georges de Scudlry.
8
Georges de Scudlry, Almahide , . . Done into English
by J, Phillips . , . (London, 1677)» p. 53*
9
"Dedication of the Aeneis," Works, Vol, XIV, p, 143.
10
Ren! Rapin, "A Comparison of Homer & Virgil," The
Whole Critical Works of Monsieur Rapin . • , (London, 1716),
Vol, I, p. 123> hereafter referred to as Critical Works.
29

30
n
"Dedication of the Aeneis," Works, Vol, XIV, p, 129.
12
Ibid., p. 136-137.
13
Ibid., p. 137.
14
Paul Benecheu, Morales du C-rand Siecle (Paris, 1948),
as quoted by Kirsch, Dryden's Heroic Drama (Princeton, 1964), p, 52,
15
John Winterbottom, "The Development of the Hero in
Dryden's Tragedies," JEGP, III (1953). 161-173.
16
Kirsch, p. 6l,
17
The Poems of George Chapman, ed. Phillis Brooks
Bartlett (New York, 1962), p, 4oé.
18
Ibid., p. 335.
19
George de Forest Lord, Homeric Renaissance: The Odyssey
of George Chapman (New Haven, 1956), p. 41,
20
"Advancement of Learning," Critical Essays of the 17th
Century, ed. Joel Elias Spingarn (Oxford, 1908), Vol._I, p. 7.
21
Ibid., p. 8.
22
René Rapin, "A Comparison of Homer & Virgil," Critical
Works, Vol. I, p, I23.
23
Ibid., p. 124.
24
Ibid., p. 127.
25t
Ibid., p. 129.
26
"Preface to Troilus and Cressida," Works, Vol. VI, p, 266.

31
27
"Dedication of the Aeneis," Works, Vol, XIV, p, 1^7.
28^
The significance of classical allusions and the double
edge to Dryden's compliments to public figures is explored in several
of his dedications by Arthur W, Hoffman in his book, John Dryden’s
Imagery (Gainesville, 1962), See especially the chapter, "An
Apprenticeship in Praise,"
29
"Dedication to the Duke of York," Works, Vol, IV, p, 15,
30
Ibid., p, 12,
31
Ibid,, p, 15,
32
Ibid,
33
"Fables Ancient and Modem,” Works, Vol. XII, p, 388.
34
Drydens The Dramatic Works, ed. Montague Summers
(London, 193*2), Vol, III, p, 8.
"Life of Plutarch," Works, Vol. XVII, p. 61.
36
Juan de Mariana, The General History of Spain (London,
1699), p. ^48.
Lewis Turquet de Mayerne, The General Historie (London,
1612), Book 18, p, 692.
38
Mariana, op. cit,, p, 458.

CHAPTER II
DESTRUCTION
* *
The list of major characters in The Conquest of Granada
may easily be divided into two groups: those who survive to begin
a new life and those who are destroyed. To the first group belong
Almanzor, Almahide, Ozmyn, Benzayda, Abenamar and Selin; to the
latter group belong Boabdelin, Abdalla, Zulema, Lyndaraxa and Abdel-
melech. In the play, survival and new life is the end of a process
of change which involves an acknowledgement of values beyond the
self, while destruction is the end of a chain of violent endeavors
to achieve fulfillment of selfish and destructive desires—revenge,
power and lust being the three most virulent of these desires. Both
the survival and the destruction are indications of a process of
providential justice which Dryden himself admitted was not always
realized in the actual affairs of individual men,'*' The final
ritual of Granada's surrender and the gathering together of the
characters who have learned the lessons of love, mercy and forgive¬
ness is, like most ceremonial endings of this type, emblematic of
an order which originates in the divine will and ideally permeates
the society of men. To call this literary manipulation simply
"poetic justice", however, does not convey the complexity of char-,
acterization which is present in Dryden*s two-part heroic play.
The characters are far from static; motivation, self-will, conflict,
32

33
and change form complex patterns for the most prominent inhabitants
of the Moorish city of Granada. The patterns are so complex as
to be impossible to examine except by what at first may appear to
be a sweeping division into the two groups mentioned above. The
min concern of this chapter will be the group of major characters
whose courses of action lead them to destruction.
For the most part, it becomes impossible to discuss the
motivations of such characters as Lyndaraxa, Abdalla, Abdelmelech,
Boabdelin, Zulema and A Imana or without discussing also their
relation with or attitudes toward fortune. At one point, fortune
vaguely appears to be auspicious happenings and fate becomes the ill
that befalls, while, at another, fortune becomes the changing,
fickle goddess, with fate connoting a more stable, unchanging,
destiny. The attitudes toward fortune in particular vary widely,
and it would seem that there is little or no consistency that would
aid in pin-pointing a specific definition of fortune which works
for the entire play. The appeals to fortune appear at first to be
merely "signs" indicating that this particular character or that
is a pagan, but as individual characters are examined more closely,
it is discovered that each character has his own particular concept
of fortune and his relationship to the goddess. By some, fortune
is endured as an all-powerful goddess, while Almanzor, for one,
would forge his own fortune and fate; Zulema argues that one can
“make" his own fortune, while Lyndaraxa, in spite of her desperate
plottings, must wait upon the fortunes of others to implement her
own will. There is, however, one over-riding consistency that evolves

3^
from the uses of fortune in the play—both those who rely upon
physical prowess and cunning to overcome fortune and. those who
faithfully attempt to wait upon her are doomed in their endeavors.
Those who discover some kind of stabilizing power through love form
a surviving remnant of Granada's population which becomes the
foundation of the new Granada under Ferdinand and Isabella.
In order to understand the various uses of fortune within
The Conquest, some of the fluctuations and inconsistencies in
the meaning of fortune in its long history must be reviewed. One
thing becomes clears as a goddess, Fortuna has never had a completely
clear-cut character; she has appeared in Roman literature in
fragmented forms as a goddess of individuals, cities, states, and
various aspects of. human endeavor—harvest, marriage, childbirth,
war and love. As Howard RoHin Patch points out in his study of
Fortuna, she assumes, quite early in her history, the character
of chance and arbitrary inconsistency with which she became
2
traditionally associated. There is quite a list of adjectives
derived by Mr, Patch from early Roman writers describing her as
various, fleeting, fickle, blind (rewarding and punishing without
regard to moral order), inconstant, harlot, untrustworthy, capricious,
mobile, transitory. Many of the symbols associated with her reflect
her instability—the sphere, the wheel, wings. In the role of a
goddess of arbitrary sway, she becomes the embodiment of the element
of chance in human affairs—in most cases she becomes the embodiment
of the only element of chance in an otherwise orderly and pre¬
dictable universe, or she is representative of what merely appears

35
to be chance. According to this view if man could only see into
the mysteries of the universe, he would see that chance and arbitrary
fortune do not, in reality, exist. Whether real or not, however,
she becomes inexorably linked with the problem of the conflict
between free will and fate or divine edict. Patch describes fate
as generally presented in opposition to Fortuna's inconsistent nature;
fate is the "personification of the inflexible and unchanging destiny,"^
But as the attributes of Fortuna are traced through the history of
literature, definite inconsistencies in her role appear, and the
distinctions between fate and Fortuna become less absolute,
H, V, Canter finds that fate, destiny, outcome, will of the deity
4
or deities all. become mixed with the idea of fortune.
From these studies of Fortuna, it is not difficult to
discern that fortune was rarely accorded absolute rule; she is
usually subordinated to a more powerful deity or deities, and has
but limited sway, or, at the most, unlimited sway over a carefully
limited realm. However limited her sway, she inevitably comes into
contact and conflict with the will of mankind—her kingdom is
usually that very ground over which nan struggles to effect his
will. As a result, man is constantly attempting to impose some
kind of stability favorable to his own desires in a realm where
unpredictable Fortuna reigns, The question which inevitably arose
was: can man, by his will, overcome fortune? The answers, as
Patch describes them, were various. Host philosophers and poets
advised a way to weather the storms of fortune rather than urging
the usurpation of her power. Basically the three solutions usually

3 6
offered are as follows s 1) The use of the virtues of patience and
fortitude while they will not control, will help man to ride out
fortune's violent changes; 2) Man should oppose the intellect
to fortune's seeming disorder. He is urged to apply his reason
and prudence; 3) No faith should be placed in fortune's favor
nor should man despair at her displeasure—her gifts are external,
not moral: "She was not the goddess of the soul, but of worldly
interests alone.Of course, the very fact that there were ways,
suggested by philosophers and poets, to survive fortune's ca¬
pricious will implies that there was a recognition of a superior
order which encompassed and ultimately abrogated all fluctuations
of the more temporal Fortuna.
The Christian faith's confrontation with the legacy of
a pagan Fortuna resulted in three basic reactions, most of them re¬
lated to the Roman solutions to Fortuna: l) Rejection of the
concept of fortune: given a rational universe, Fortuna is incompre¬
hensible. She is either relegated to the demon underworld, becomes
a convenient expression for the "hidden causes" of the universe,
as in Aristotle, or is rejected altogether. 2) Compromise:
Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy is the main source for this
particular position. Fortune is recognized as a temporal and,
therefore, limited force. She can only given those gifts which
are not ultimately valuable; only God dispenses the ultimate good.
The Christian is advised to "bear with equal mind the yoke of
Fortune,"^ keeping in mind that, paradoxically, good fortune can
hide evil, and bad fortune can lead to ultimate good. Providence

37
is the encompassing order in the universe. 3) Christian Fortuna:
Fortuna was included by Dante as an angelic power, obeying ul¬
timately the will of God, a final step which Boethius does not
explicitly take in his Christianization of Fortuna.
Dryden's own attitude toward fortune is rather difficult
to sift from among his writings. References to fortune and fate
most often appear as dramatic utterances revealing the state of
mind of a character rather than Dryden's own views on the subject.
He was, of course, familiar with the uses of fortune -and fate in
the Roman writers whom he ultimately translated, and there are
two strains in Roman literature that attracted Dryden: the first
presents specific alternatives offered to the worship of fortune,
the second deals with the temporal limitations of fortune's reign.
Both strains are to be found in Juvenal. In his "Tenth Satire,"
Juvenal describes the fulfillment of men's fondest desires; riches,
honors, fame and longevity, lían proves, however, to be a poor
judge indeed when it comes to choosing that which is ultimately
good for him? a greater wisdom is necessary to manage man's
affairs. The satirist concludes with the following advice:
'Nil ergo optabunt homines?' si consilium vis,
permittes ipsis expenderá numinibus, quid
conveniat nobis rebusque sit utile nostris.
nam pro iucundis aptissima quaeque dabunt di.
carior est tills homo, quam sibi. ncs animorum
inpulsu et caeca magnaque cupidine ducti
coniugium petiraus partumque uxoris; at illis
noturn, qui pueri qualisque futirá sis uxor,
ut tamen et poseas aliquid voveasque sacellis
exta et candiduli divina tomacula porci,
orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpora sano,
fortem posee animum, mortis terrors carentem,.
qui spatium vitae extremum inter muñera ponat

38
naturae, qui ferre queat quoscumque labores,
nesciat irasci, cuplat nihil et potiores
Herculis aeruranas credat saevosque labores
et Venere et cenis et plum Sardanapalli,
monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare, semita certe
tranquillae per virtutem paten única vitae,
nullum numen babes, si sit prudentia; nos ta
nos facimus, Fortuna, deam caeloque locamus.'
Dryden's translation of the last two lines comes near to making
fortune merely a figment of a fool's imaginations
Fortune was never worshipped by the wise g
But, set aloft by fools, usurps the skies. -
In Dryden's Christian universe, such a usurpation reflects the folly
of men who cannot comprehend the divine wisdom which ultimately
directs and orders the universe,
Horace advises resignation, but makes fortune a powerful
temporal reality. He includes many of the epithets traditionally
associated with her:
Fortuna saevo laeta negotio et
lundum isolentem ludere pertinax
transmutat incertos honores,
nunc mihi, nunc alii benigna,
laudo manentem; si celeris quatit
pinnas, resigno quae didit et mea
virtute me involvo probamque q
pauperiem sine dote quaero.
Many.of the traditional concepts of fortune with which
Dryden was familiar throughout most of his life find expression, in
some form or another, in The Conquest. Fortune and fate are not
simply superficial trappings for the play, but are an important
part of an over-all theme of change, of loss and gain. Inextricably

39
bound up in the confrontation with the forces of fortune and fate
are the themes of self-interest, and self-sacrifice. Self-interest
provides the basic motivation for a significant segment of The
Conquest*s characters: lyndaraxa, Zulema, Abdalla, Boabdelin,
and, for a time, Altnanzor. Only Almanzor learns the lesson of
self-sacrifice and survives, the rest are destroyed.
It is this group of characters in particular which has
led at least one critic in the past to attempt to place Dryden in
Hobbes* theoretical eamp.^ By some critical magic, Dryden's
villains become the spokesmen for both Dryden and Hobbes, making
the two men advocates of a concept of self-interest which leads to
rebellion and disorder. Fortune and self-interest can provide,
in a small way, a touchstone for understanding Dryden's position
in relation to Hobbes* theories. Hobbes had fixed the motivation
of self-interest as the very basis of civil order. As Louis Teeter
points out, "If it could be shown that enlightened self-interest
demanded absolute obedience, he Qíobbesj would be striking at the
11
root of most sedition and social unrest."
Most who have read Hobbes are familiar with his basic
psychology: one apprehends through the senses and is either at¬
tracted to an object viewed or shuns it, depending upon the good
or ill that one apprehends will come from it. The will is next
brought into play, and one acts on the basis of either desire
(attraction) or hatred (repulsion). The manner in which civil
order is achieved is similar to the process leading an individual
to a desired object: many apprehend that unification under some

40
form of government is desirable} their desires and their wills
agreeing, a unity of action and effect is achieved: "When the
wills of many concur to one and the same action and effect, this
concourse of their wills is called consent? by which we must not
understand one will of many men, . . . but many wills to the pro-
12
ducing of one effect," Thus unity is achieved through an agree¬
ment of basic interests, Hobbes does not assume that men will
always agree: contention and disorder result “when the wills of
two divers men produce such actions as are reciprocally resistant
one to the other, this is called contention; and being upon the
persons one of another, battle: whereas actions proceeding from
consent, are mutual aid." Hobbes does assume, however, that
the basic unity of wills producing a single effect is, by virtue
of second causes, in harmony with the divine will. The neatness
of Hobbes' chain of cause and effect leaves no room for the ir¬
rationality of a goddess of fortune. In his famous argument with
Bishop Bramhall concerning predestination and free will, Hobbes
insists that man's will is not of his own disposing: ", . , I
conceive that nothing taketh beginning from itself, but from the
action of some other immediate agent without itself. And there¬
fore, when first a man hath a appetite or will to something, to
which immediately before he had no appetite nor will, the cause of
his will, is not the will itself, but something else not in his
14
own disposing." Simply by pursuing the chain of cause and effect
back along its links, man "shall at last come to this, that there
must be, even as the heathen philosophers confessed, one first

41
mover; that is, a first, and an eternal cause of all things;
which is that which men mean by the name of God: and all this
without thought of their fortune; the solicitude whereof, both
inclines to fear, and hinders them from the search of the causes
of other things; and thereby gives occasion of feigning of as
many gods, as there by men that feign them.For Hobbes, Fortune
takes on an ominous shape—she is ignorance personified. Speaking
of the Gentiles' many gods, Hobbes mentions among them the goddess
of Fortunes "They invoked their own ignorance, by the name of
Fortune."16
Both Dryden and Hobbes agree that fortune is the goddess
of those who are unable to apprehend the real order in the universe;
they both agree that order and stability are the ultimate virtues
to be attained in civil society. Dryden, however, remained skeptical
of man's ability to produce an order based upon self-interest.
The villainous group of characters in The Conquest of Granada
reflect this basic skepticism, and Dryden was willing, in some
instances, to exaggerate and distort Hobbes-like theories of self-
interest in order to make his point, Dryden probably realized
that Hobbes would have been appalled at a theory of self-interest
which carries its practitioners into rebellion and regicide, but,
as any skillful debator would know, to carry the opponent's theories
to their logical conclusions is the quickest, not necessarily the
fairest, way to prove their indefensability.
That Dryden's treatment of the characters surrounding
Lyndaraxa in many ways reflects a concern with the problems of

motivations of self-interest, order and divine will is not to say,
however, that he necessarily wrote the play to specifically refute
Hobbes, Both Hobbes and Dryden were concerned with the problems
of order, but Dryden's concerns appear dramatically in the form
of clashes of self-interest, violent change, and conquest. For
at least one group of characters, the goddess of self-interest,
Fortune, becomes a dangerous and destructive power when she is
allowed to "usurp the skies;" Dryden basically aligns himself
with the Christian tradition which makes fortune a symbol of man's
blindness to truth, specifically, providential truth, Hobbes
also sees the worship of fortune as ignorance, except that the truth
that fortune blinds one to is his universe of cause and effect—
a universe which he attempted, with little success in light of
his contemporaries' tendencies to classify Hobbes as an aetheist,
to assert as the creation of a "corporeal" God.
Possibly the most consistent and, therefore, most obvious
characterization of self-interest in The Conquest is that to be
found in Lyndaraxa. Most of the characters who are ultimately
destroyed find their destinies radically affected by hers Zulema,
her brother, dies defending a lie concocted by Lyndaraxa; Abdalla
dies in single combat with Abdelmelech, his rival for Lyndaraxa's
favor; Boabdelin is slain in battle "by a Zegry hand" after
Lyndaraxa has shifted Zegry support to the Christians; Abdelmelech
stabs himself after bringing about Lyndaraxa's death. The ambitious
woman who effects such destruction, while a terribly consistent
character, is not a simple one. Soon after her first entrance,

43
Lyndaraxa reveals the basic desire which motivates her every moment
throughout the play. She has "seen/This day, what 'tis to hope to
be a queen," Observing the attention and flattery paid Almahide,
she declares:
These are but half the charms of being great;
I would be somewhat, that I know not yet: -
Yes.' I avow the ambition of my soul,
To be that one to live without control!
And that's another happiness to me,
To be so happy as but one can be.
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
In order to be free from all control she must be queen, and this
"happiness" can be possessed by only one. Even Abdalla, who becomes
her most abject slave, acknowledges the basis of all her actions:
'Tis plain that she, who, for a kingdom, now
Would sacrifice her love, and break her vow,
Not out of love, but interest, acts alone,
And would, even in my arms, lie thinking of a throne.
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
Self-interest is also the motivating force behind Lyndaraxa's
brother, Zulema, who acts the seducer to Abdalla's already weakened
virtue. What Lyndaraxa begins with her beauty, Zulema completes
with his ready tongue; to every objection Abdalla raises to his
securing of a throne and a mistress, Zulema counters with an argu¬
ment. When Abdalla objects that "Reason was given to curb our
headstrong will," Zulema readily returns, "Reason but shows a weak
physician's skill" (Part I, Act II, sc, i). Zulema disposes of
peace of mind, justice, and honor by emphasizing the compensating
pleasures and power which will be gained try possessing the crown.

44
Only one last objection is made: Abdalla retreats under the pro¬
tection of fate. Had fate so willed, Abdalla "without a crime, the
crown had worn."' But Zulema does not allow Abdalla the refuge
of fate—a refuge, he argues, for weak men only:
Kan makes his fate according to his mind.
The weak low spirit fortune makes her slave;
But she’s a drudge when hectored by the brave:
If fate weaves common thread, she'll change the doom,
And with new purple spread a nobler loom.
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
Abdalla is won; the next step he takes is to "will" the throne.
Zulema then reveals that he, too, is in love’s power and is "in
it unfortunate as" Abdalla—from this point to the end of the scene,
Zulema and Abdalla stress their newly formed alliance and the unity
of their desires by using collective pronouns, Abdalla announces:
"Our loves and fortunes shall together go;/Thou shall be happy,
when I first am so," Zulema returns in the same vein, enjoining
Abdalla to unite his cause with that of the Zegrys:
The Zegrys at old Selin’s house are met,
Where, in close council, for revenge they sit:
There we our common interests will unite;
You their revenge shall own, and they your right¿
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
Love, desire for power, and revenge are united, and the means
for their realization is rebellion, war and regicide. The al¬
liance is completed when Almanzor is made an unwitting pawn to
effect the desires of Zulema, Abdalla, and Lyndaraxa. Zulema
plots like a good Machiavellian stage villain; while Zulema and
Abdalla use "wisdom" and cunning to plot their course, they must

have Almanzor to lend the lion's strength to their cunnings
Zulemas The bold are but the instruments o' the wise;
They undertake the dangers we advises
And, while our fabric with their pains we raise,
We take the profit, and pay them with praise.
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
The forces are clearly drawn ups Lyndaraxa, Zulema,
Abdalla, the Zegrys as a whole, and Almanzor against Boabdelin,
Love, desire for power, and revenge, however, prove to be uneasy
bedfellows. Each member of the conspiracy has his own interest at
stake, each has his own desires to fulfill. Soon after victory
the alliance begins to fall apart when Almanzor's desire to revenge
his injured honor is superseded by his new found love for Almahide,
In loving Almahide Almanzor discovers he comes in conflict with
Zulema's own desire to have her. Zulema reminds Abdalla, who is
now in a position to dispense favors, that "You swore our fortunes
should together go." Abdalla, thus reminded of the pact made with
the brother of Lyndaraxa, awards Almahide to Zulema, sending
Almanzor in a fury to revive the chances of Boabdelin's besieged
forces. There, another alliance of “interests" is made. Boabdelin
wishes tc recover his throne and Almahide; Almanzor, once again,
has an injury to revenge and, now, Almahide to fight for. He warns
Boabdelin that "Injured again, again I'll leave your side;" how¬
ever, "Since, then, your foes now happen to be mine,/Though not
in friendship, we'll in interest joins/So while my loved revenge
is full and high,/I'll give you back your kingdom by the by”
(Fart I, Act IV, sc, i), Almanzor brings victory to his new ally

46
only to discover that he and Boabdelin desire the same thing—
Almahide. In the ensuing conflict, Almanzor is overcome, and to
save his life Almahide agrees to send him away and marry Boabdelin,
Not one goal of any of the uneasy alliances is completely
realized at the end of Part I: Boabdelin has his throne and •
Almahide, but his rebellious brother is still alive, threatening
overthrow; Lyndaraxa controls the fortress of the Albaj^zyn, re¬
fusing to open to Abdalla or Abdelmelech until certain as to which
will best serve her ends; Zulema has lost Almahide and the battle;
Abdalla has been refused sanctuary by the faithless Lyndaraxa,
and Almanzor is banished¿ There is a temporary respite from war
at the end of Part I as Boabdelin declares that the affairs of
state shall wait on love. The precarious peace will soon be
destroyed, however, and "empire's weary toil" (Part I, Act V,
sc. ii) resumed. Not one of the alliances of interests results
in stability. Part I has been a record of shifting loyalties,
betrayals, fermenting rebellion, and the frustration of all human
desires. To borrow a phrase from the criticism of baroque art,
a "precarious balance" that momentarily threatens to dissolve
into civil chaos is all that can be achieved.
In such a world, of course, the only appropriate deity
to worship is Fortune. For the most part, Fortune has traditionally
been associated with human affairs as they are concerned with the
gain of property, money, power, and fame. Fortune, in The Conquest,
is inextricably linked in the minds of its characters with what
is termed their "interests". In order to possess Almahide, Zulema

must bend fortune and fate to his own will, with cunning as his
means. In order to win Lyndaraxa, Abdalla must "prove fortunate"
and is convinced by Zuleraa that he can "make" his own fortune.
Almanzor, in his threats to Abdalla, promises to "whistle thy
tame fortune” after him, and "whirl fate with me whereso'er I
fly” (Part I, Act III, sc. i). Lyndaraxa, however, is most
closely linked with fortune and fate in the play? indeed, she
takes on many of the characteristics of dame Fortune herself.
While her avowed desire for absolute freedom remains constant,
Lyndaraxa shifts and maneuvers—her safety lies in the fact that
she never stays rooted on the same ground. In order to keep up
with shifting fortune, she herself must be constantly moving.
Abdelmelech tells her, "That heart, which could so easily remove,/
Was never fixed, nor rooted deep in love” (Part I, Act III, sc. i).
She seem?i to follow Machiavelli's infamous advice to those who
would be fortunate to change with the changing times? she follows
fearfully every shift in the fortunes of her two lovers and, like
Ovid's Fortuna, is constant in her very inconsistency:
Passibus ambiguis Fortuna volubilis errat
et manet in nullo certa tenaxque loco:
sed modo laeta venit; vultus modo sumit acerbos?
et tantum constans in levitate sua est, '
In some instances, Lyndaraxa assumes whatever relationship
to fortune she deems advantageous for the occasion. Since Abdalla
is the closest to the throne, Lyndaraxa hopes that fortune will
favor him, and at one point eagerly rushes out to assume the very
pose of Fortune, choosing, of course, to smile upon her lover:

« . . like his better fortune I'll appear,
With open arms, loose veil, and flowing hair
Just flying forward from my rolling spheres
My smiles shall make Abdalla more than man;
Let him look up, and perish if he can,
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
But when Fortune becomes "malicious," Lyndaraxa claims to be its
foe. She Justifies her refusal to offer Abdalla sanctuary from
his pursuing foes by claiming to have acted as the protectress of
his future:
When your malicious fortune doomed your fall,
My care restrained you then from losing all;
Against your destiny I shut the gate,
And gathered up the shipwrecks of your fate;
I, like a friend, did even yourself withstand,
From towing all upon a losing hand,
(Part II, Act II, sc, ii)
Strangely enough, Lyndaraxa possesses the soaring ambitions
of an Almansor, but seems, for the most part, unable to facilitate
her own desires; she must place her hopes in the revolving fortunes
of her two lovers, Abdalla and Abdelmelech. Unlike Almanzor, she
is never certain that she can control fortune. She desperately
seeks, however, for some kind of certainty or predictability in a
universe ruled by fortune. Before she makes a commitment, she
desires to be sure that the ground will not shift again. While
holding Abdelmelech in hopes of her love, Lyndaraxa watches Abdalla's
fortunes: "I will attend till time this throne secure;/And, when
I climb, my footing shall be sure,—" (Part I, Act IV, sc, ii).
In an earlier soliloquy she has already declared her desire for
certainty in her quest for freedom from control:

49
0» could I read the dark decrees of fate.
That I might once know whom to love, or hate
For I myself scarce my own thoughts can guess,
So much I find them varied by success.
As in some weather-glass, my love I hold}
Which falls or rises with the heat or cold, -
I will be constant yet, if Fortune can;
I love the king, - let her but name the man,
(Part I, Act IV, sc, ii)
It is not in fortune's nature, however, to be constant. While
complaining of the incomprehensible fluctuations, of fortune,
Lyndaraxa will not abandon her pursuit of the crown for any alter¬
native that appears less desirable than complete freedom from
control. She expresses awareness of one of the alternatives
religion offers the dependence upon fortune, but the life recommended
does not suit Lyndaraxa's ambitious souls
0, how unequally in me were joined
A creeping fortune with a soaring mind,'
0 lottery of fate where still the wise
Draw blanks of fortune, and the fools the prize,'
These cross, ill-shuffled lots from heaven are sent,
Yet dull Religion teaches us content;
But when we ask it where that blessing dwells,
It points to pedant colleges, and cells;
There shows it rude, and in a homely dress,’
And that proud want mistakes for happiness.
(Part II, Act III, sc, ii)
Following Lyndaraxa thus far through all her machinations
and turnings, one finally comes to this terrible sense of frustrated
desire for power and stability, Lyndaraxa is entrapped by her own
desire for absolute freedom fron control; she cannot escape the
fortune upon which she depends to achieve her goal. While Abdalla
and Abdelmelech vie for her favor and fight each other—one to
gain the throne, the other to protect it for Boabdelin—Lyndaraxa

50
watches, hoping to either catch fortune's drift and ride it to the
top, or step out upon a secure throne to enjoy the fruits of Abdalla's
good fortune. She is willing to take whatever path fortune shows
her, and there is no room in her fortune-ruled world for fixed
affections} freedom for Lyndaraxa means the absence of all forms
of servitude, including love. The one confrontation she has with
Almanzor points out the vast difference between Lyndaraxa's definition
of freedom, and that which Almanzor is learning. Seeing that
Almanzor is apparently "wedded" to fortune, Lyndaraxa. attempts to
gain certainty by gaining Almanzor. She promises to "free"
Almanzor from love of Almahide and show him "a more pleasing shape
of love," but x*uns into unexpected opposition—constancy. Although
his love for Almahide seems hopeless, Almanzor cannot be won by an
argument to the effect that his is a "sad, sullen, froward Love"2
Almanzor. I, in the shape of Love, Despair did see;
You, in his shape, would show Inconstancy.
(Part II, Act III, sc. iii)
Lyndaraxa counters with reasons for trying the "effects of change,"
but Almanzor is already upon a path that he has but recently entered,
and has freed some part of himself from fortune's vacillations by
accepting the "bounds of love":
Though Almahide with scorn rewards my care, -
Yet, than to change, 'tis nobler to despair.
Ky love's my soul; and that from fate is free;
*Tis that unchanged and deathless part ,of me.
(Part II, Act.Ill, sc, iii)
Having failed to win Almanzor, or more importantly, his good fortune,

51
Lyndaraxa returns to try to catch at Abdalla and Abdelmelech's
revolving fortunes, only to find Abdalla slain by his rival, and
Abdelmelech removed from her power by his observations of her "in¬
constant and ambitious mind" (Part II, Act IV, sc, ii).
Like many of Dryden's villainesses, Lyndaraxa is complex
in her evil. She worships dame Fortune and partakes of some of
her attributes} she possesses a "soaring mind", but is hampered
by her inability to effect her own will. She is a. Machiavellian
in her understanding of power, a perverted Hobbesian in her pursuit
of self-interest, and she is the descendent of Circe, Armida and
Duessa, "enchanting" her warriors and leading them to sure destruction,
Lyndaraxa is very much kin to these sorceresses of epic tradition;
Dryden had the precedence of Homer's Circe, Aristo's Angelica,
Tasso's Armida and Spencer's Duessa to draw from. But Lyndaraxa
is a 'faodern" sorceress—she does not possess supernatural powers,
nor does she indulge in the playful bitchery of an Angelica, but
she does possess great physical beauty, and a knowledge of basic
human psychology; she knows how to cloud the minds of her victims
with the fleeting image of a smile. While Circe transforms her
victims into swine, and Armida spirits Rinaldo to an enchanted
paradise to numb the warrior in him, Lyndaraxa captures her victims
with smiles and promises, demanding in turn that they serve her
interests with absolute submission,
Abdalla and Abdelmelech are Lyndaraxa's intended victims.
Only Abdalla's "enchantment" is complete. In a short soliloquy
he traces the rise and fall of her influence in terms of basic

52
sensualist psychology:
A glancing smile allured me to command,
AM her soft fingers gently pressed my hand:
I felt the pleasure glide through every part;
Her hand went through me to my very heart.
For such another pleasure, did he Live,
I could my father of a crown deprive. -
What did I say? -
Fatherl - That impious thought has shocked my mind:
How bold our passions are, and yet how blind -
She's gone: and now,
Methinks, there is less glory in a crown:
2'Iy boiling passions settle, and go down.
Like amber chafed, when she is near, she acts;
When further off, inclines, but not attracts,
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
(One might point out here, that while Hobbes would have approved
the knowledge of psychology which forms the basis for Abdalla’s
speech, he would not have approved, anymore than did Dryden, of
the rebellion with which Abdalla's thoughts conclude,) Zulema
finishes what Lyndaraxa has begun, and in the next moment leads
Abdalla to the point where he submits to love's distortion of
reason:
Abdalla: To sharp-eyed reason this would seem untrue;
But reason I through love's false optics view,
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
From this point on, Abdalla willingly lives in Lyndaraxa-inspired
bondage. His speech is shot through with images of illusion,
dreams, enchantment and blindness. Though warned by Abdelmelech
and recognizing Lyndaraxa’s Circe-like ability to change him into
a moral "swine", he chooses to endure the enslavement:
Abdalla: , , . This enchanted place,
Like Circe's isle, is peopled with a race

53
Of dogs and swine; yet, though their fate I know,
I look with pleasure and am turning too,
I'll love, be blind, be cozened till I die,
(Part I, Act III, sc, i)
Abdalla remains Lyndaraxa's loyal slave even as he is slain by
Abdelmelech,
In contrast to Abdalla, Abdelmslech never completely
commits himself to the force of Lyndaraxa's "spell"; he constantly
expresses himself in terms of sleeping and waking; darkness and
light; blindness and sight; enchantment and disenchantment. Each
betrayal by Lyndaraxa "lets a beam in, that will clear my mind"
(Part I, Act IV, sc, ii), until a final base act supposedly
"cures" Abdelmelech, His speech is a recapitulation of most of
the images describing Lyndaraxa's influence:
Abdelmelech. The spell is ended, and the enchantment o'er
My love was blind to your deluding art;
But blind men feel, when stabbed so near the heart,
I'm now awake, and cannot dream again,
(Part II, Act IV, sc, ii)
In spite of his awakening, however, Abdelmelech cannot
extricate himself fully from Lyndaraxa's "fate,” Momentarily,
Abdelmelech has his "enchantress” in his power, and in revenge
against her pride, orders that she wait upon Almahide. The woman
who desires to be a queen above all else is made an attendant to
a queen, Abdelmelech attempts to give his captive a lesson in
justice: "See now the effects of what your arts designed, , , "

(Part II, Act IV, sc, ii), but Lyndaraxa is unimpressed.. Threatening
revenge for the punishment Abdelmelech has promised to impose on
her, Lyndaraxa hopes to wreak wide destruction in her falls
• . . like some falling tower,
Whose seeming firmness does the sight beguile,
So hold I up my nodding head a while,
Til they come under; and reserve my fall,
That with ray ruins I may reach them all,
(Part II, Act IV, sc, ii)
It is not clear who "they" are, but from this point on,
Lyndaraxa, in attempting to salvage something from the ruins of
her fortune, succeeds only in destroying those around her. Both
Zulema and Barnet, her brothers, are slain defending Lyndaraxa*s
false accusation of adultery between Almahi.de and Abdelmelech,
but not even this evidence of a just universe impresses Lyndaraxa.
The trial by combat is an important event which prefigures the
ordered conclusion of the play. Just prior to the trial, the
innocent Abdelmelech and Almanide despair over what appears to
be the triumph of injustice:
Abdelmelech. Heaven is not heaven, nor are there deities;
There is some new rebellion in the skies.
All that was good and holy is dethroned,
And lust and rapine are for justice owned.
(Part II, Act V, sc. i)
Almahide« See how the gazing people crowd the place,
All gaping to be filled with my disgrace,
LA shout within.
They shout, like the hoarse peals of vultures, rings,
When over fighting fields they beat their wings, -
(Part II, Act V, sc. ii)

55
Almahide's maid, Esperanza (Spanish for "hope"), comforts her mistress
by telling her that there is a Deity who protects and dispenses
grace—the Christian C-od, Almahide admits that she may have erred
in her pagan beliefs and prays to Esperanza*s "Godhead" for "succour"
and "justice", promising to become a follower if he will reveal him¬
self by supporting injured innocence. The outcome of the trial
proves, to Almahide at least, that the universe is ruled by some¬
thing greater than chance. Of the false witnesses, only Zulema
repents of his crime and asks forgiveness, which Almahide readily
grants,
For her part in the plot, Lyndaraxa receives mercy.
Rather than ordain death as her punishment, Boabdelin merely ban¬
ishes her, receiving a curse for thanks: "Thou shouldst have
punished more, or not at all:/By her thou hast not ruined, thou
shalt fall" (Part II, Act V, sc, ii). Her curse proves potent, and
Boabdelin is reported "slain by a Zegry's hand" in the final battle
between Granada's forces and the Christians,
Self-centered and ambitious to the end, Lyndaraxa is
strikingly excluded from the "blessed change" that encompasses
other inhabitants of Granada. As she accepts the government of
Granada from Ferdinand's hands, Lyndaraxa haughtily boasts, "this
empire to my fate was owed," and compares herself to Tamberlain,
relegating Abdelmslech to the role of slave. Lyndaraxa's sudden
death at the hands of Abdelmslech is one of the most villainously
heroic in all of Dryden's canon. The crown she has sought with
such single-mindedness is hers—fortune finally rewards with what

56
goods are in her command, but "fate" follows closely, cutting short
Lyndaraxa's reign. Echoing Almanzor's words from Part I, Act I,
sc, i ("I have not leisure yet to die,")» Lyndaraxa attempts to
shove death from her: "I have not leisure now;/A crown is come,
and will not fate allow" (Part II, Act V, sc, ii); but a pattern
of retributive justice, not "fate," is asserting itself and
Lyndaraxa, for all her machinations, cannot stop its fulfillment.
When Lyndaraxa realizes she cannot put off death, she charges
"rebellion on my fate," and commands her subjects "your submission
show," As they bow, Dryden allows his villainess one moment of
triumph; she is "pleased to taste an empire e'er I go,"
There remains one more word on fortune as it is linked
to the career of Lyndaraxa. Up to this point fortune has been
accused of dealing with man blindly, rewarding the foolish and
depriving the wise (to paraphrase Lyndaraxa's own words), and,
in general, acting in no discernable pattern, with its unpredict¬
ability its only predictable quality, Man seems to be totally
helpless in the face of the incomprehensible workings of fortune.
All who have attempted to facilitate their own interests at the
cost of the lives and happiness of others, those who have worshipped
fortune as the supreme and unstable ruler of the universe have
failed: Zulema, who attempted to make his own fortune, is dead;
Abdalla, who declared, "Who follow fortune, still are in the right,"
is dead} and, last to fall, Lyndaraxa, who never saw beyond the
workings of an irrational, amoral fortune, is slain by her rejected
lover. The pattern of justice has been completed, and is now

57
discernable for those who survive—fortune is not the supreme ruler
of the universe, A retributive pattern is made explicit by
Abenemar, who has just witnessed Lyndaraxa's death: "Such fortune
still such black designs attends" (Part II, Act V, sc, ii), Lyndaraxa’s
death caps the accumulating evidence, and Abenamar's observation
provides the epitaph. Fortune has only appeared with a mask of
irrationality; in actuality she is merely a handmaiden in a
basically moral and orderly universe.
It may be said of Dryden's use of fortune in The Conquest
of Granada that it is a dramatic device, employed to reveal a
character's particular grasp of the scheme of temporal events. The
characters who fail to comprehend any order or power beyond their
own destructive desires and the fickle goddess, fortune, fall
beneath a retributive pattern of justice. For Lyndaraxa, the moment
before death brings no illumination or spiritual rebirth; she
dies exalting in the achievement of her desire to be queen,
Barbara Bartholomew, in her work Fortuna and Natura:
A Reading of Three Chaucer Narratives, discusses in detail the uses
of Fortuna, in Chaucer's work. One of the most striking aspects
of her discussion is the emphasis she places upon Chaucer’s use of
attitudes toward. Fortuna in creating character. Fortuna herself
does not change her nature, but man apprehends her according to
his own light. Defeat and victory are seen in terms of a paradox
based upon Fortuna's place in the Christian order and man's ability
or inability to comprehend this paradox:
Transcending Fortune is always important in Chaucer.

53
For a character to be defeated by the fickle
goddess is for him to die believing that she
is supreme} for a character to be victorious
over her is for him to die—or live—secure
in the philosophical acceptance of God and
his agents beyond her.
Real tragedy, then, lies in man's inability to see beyond Fortuna’s
rules
As early as Boethius the arguments are established:
Fortuna must be fickle or she would not be
Fortuna; since God rules Fortuna, the goddess
must ultimately work for good; mischief lies
not in Fortuna but in the attitude of the
victim. , , . And in Chaucer, as elsewhere, the
characters who briefly invoke her or curse her .
often take the short view of Fortuna's tumult
without relating it to any large Christian
purposes she has caused them woe; they blame
her, °
Thus, Dryden's use of fortune in The Conquest of Granada
is a part of a long-standing Christian literary tradition. It is
a strain that may also be found in Tasso's epic, Jerusalem Delivered,
which Dryden acknowledged as providing in its hero, Rinaldo, one
source for the nature of his own hero, Almanzor, Both the loth
century epic and the 17th century heroic play deal with the con¬
quest of a pagan-held city which was, in the past, a part of the
Christian world, and is, in the dramatic present, the object of a
siege by Christian forces: Palestine and Granada are the topo¬
graphical centers of both works; they are the ground of both
physical and spiritual combat. On this ground the ultimate human
tragedy is Christian in natures physical defeat is but temporary;
the real tragedy is that a man loses his own soul. A man may lose

59
a battle but save his own soul. This particular paradox forms
a strange background for Tasso’s epic, with its warrior-oriented
cast and its battleground setting. The Christian forces of
Jerusalem Delivered acknowledge fortune, but they also, generally,
know her limitations. Godfrey, divinely chosen to lead the Crusade's
polyglot forces, places fortune in the scheme of things. To
pick a champion, Godfrey orders a drawing:
And see whom fortune chooseth to this game;
Or rather see whom God's high judgment taketh,
To whom is chance and fate and fortune slave.
In book IX, God is described as one
Under whose feet (subjected to his grace)
Sit nature, fortune, motion, time and place: . . .
To trust in this all-powerful God is to conquer fortune:
0. happy zeal,' who trusts in help divine
The world's afflictions thus can drive away,
Can storms appease, and times and seasons change.
And conquer fortune, fate, and dest’ny strange, 2
Cities as well as individuals are included in the scheme
of a divine providence that supersedes temporal fortune. The echo
of a phoenix-like death and rebirth is to be heard in Tasso's
vision of Palestine, lost to the pagans, being restored to its
true Lord. While its walls must be tom down, its fields destroyed,
its towers burned, it is "Providence Divine" that "The empire proud
of Palestine/This day should fall, to rise again more bless'd; . ,
There is a constant repetition of this theme of rise and fall;

60
of good corning from apparent ill? of cities falling to rise, and .
individuals losing a battle only to gain new life. The most
striking example of the latter is the career of Armida, Tasso's
sorceress-villainess who is both similar to and strikingly dif¬
ferent from Dryden's Lyndaraxa. In order to wreak revenge on
Rinaldo for leaving her enchanted garden to return to the Christian
army, Armida joins the pagan forces, She flees after the Christian
forces have triumphed only to be captured by Rinaldo himself.
Rather than finding the disgraceful bondage that she feared, how¬
ever, Armida is persuaded by Rinaldo to resume command of her king¬
dom and become a Christian, She partakes of the Christian paradox:
2¡i
Thus death her life became, loss prov'd her treasure,”
Within this epic of salvation and restoration, there
are those who fall grandly not to rise again. Desiring Tancred's
conquest, the pagan hero, Argantes, challenges the Christian warrior
to single combat, The blows are exchanged and each hero suffers
wounds; Argantes finally falls, not by Tancred's sword, but carried
down by the terrible momentum of one of his own blows, Tancred
offers mercy, but the pagan prefers to die a warrior's death.
Nothing has been stinted in the description of the pagan’s strength,
ire, anger, or his heroic deeds. Like Lyndaraxa, his death has
a kind of terrible appropriateness to it. But both the pagan
warrior and the ambitious woman are excluded from the general
restoration that encompasses Palestine and Granada, And yet neither
is excluded from the movement of the whole—they are not simply
extraneous "freaks” of human will; they-are both, in a sense,

61
examples of the variation of human will and a mark of its radical
swing. Just ás Argantes is a towering example of defiance and
finite heroism, Lyndaraxa is a supreme example of the violent
extremés to which self-interest may be carried. There is a feeling
of human expansion, of an over-extension of human will and human
liberty which makes Argantes and Lyndaraxa no less fascinating
for the discovery that the expansion is ultimately, and, for them,
tragically finite. They both refuse to accept the terms of defeat:
Argantes refuses Rinaldo's offer of mercy and receives a hero's
death and homage from his conqueror? Lyndaraxa refuses to submit
to anything or ary person, and tastes for a moment what it is to
be queen,
Lyndaraxa could have easily said with Dryden's Arcite:
Whát greater Curse cou'd envious Fortune-give,
Than just to die, when I began to live,
She has prayed to all the wrong gods? like Arcite, she has asked
all the wrong things—she has won the battle only to lose the war.
She is encompassed by a moral order that she does not comprehend?
indeed, it never seems to occur to her that it even exists. She
remains unredeemed and unrepentant. Unlike the repentent Armida,
Lyndaraxa's passionate pursuit of freedom has excluded her from a
conquered city's new existence under Christian monarchs.

NOTES
1
John Dryden, Dedication to "Annus Mirabilis," The Poems
of John Dryden, ed. by James Kinsley (Oxford, 1958), Vol. I, p. 4-3;
hereafter cited as Poems.
2
Howard Rollin Patch, "The Tradition of the Goddess
Fortuna in Roman Literature and in the Transitional Period.” In
Smith College Studies in Modern Languages, Vol, III (Northhampton,
Mass., Oct.' 1921-July 3.922).
3
Ibid., p, 142.
4
H. V. Canter, "'Fortuna' in Latin Poetry,” SP, XIX
(Jan. 1922), p. 80.
5
Patch, o£, cit,, p. 149.
6
Ibid., p. 193.
7
Thirteen Satires of Juvenal, ed. John E, B, Mayor
(London, 1893)"»" Vol. Í, pp. 51-52.
8
"Tenth Satyre of Juvenal," Poems, Vol. II, 11. 533-
561, pp. 734-735* Dryden's translation of the entire passage from
Juvenal quoted above is as follows:
What then remains? Are we depriv'd of Will?
Must we not Wish, for fear of wishing Ill?
Receive my Counsel, and securely move;
Intrust thy Fortune to the Pow'rs above.
Leave them to manage for thee, and to grant
What their unerring Wisdom sees thee want:
In Goodness, as in Greatness, they excel;
Ah that we lov'd our selves but half so well!
We, blindly by our headstrong Passions led,
62

63
Are hot for Action, and desire to Wed;
Then wish for Heirs; But to the Gods alone
Our future Offspring, and our Wives, are known;
Th* audacious Strumpet, and ungracious Son.
Yet, not to rob the Priests of pious Gain,
That Altars be not wholly built in vain;
For give the Gods the rest, and stand confin'd
To Health of Body, and Content of Mind:
A Soul, that can securely Death defie,
And count it Nature's Priviledge to Dye;
Serene and Manly, harden'd to sustain
The load of Life, and Exercis'd in Pain;
Guiltless of Hate, and Proof against Desire;
That all things weighs, and nothing can admire;
That dares prefer the Toils of Hercules
To Dalliance, Banquet, and Ignoble ease.
The Patli to Peace is Virtue: What I show,
Thy Self may freely, on thy Self bestow;
Fortune was never Worship?'d by the Wise;
But, set aloft by Fools, Usurps the Skies,
9
Horace, The Odes and Epodes, trans, C, E, Bennet
(Cambridge, Mass.; London, I960), "Twenty Ninth Ode of the Third
Book," 11, 49-56. Dryden's translation of these lines in Poems,
Vol. I, pp. 436-37:
Fortune, that with malicious joy,
Does Man, her slave, oppress,
Proud of her Office to destroy,
Is seldom pleas'd to bless;
Still various and unconstant still;
But with an inclination to be ill;
Promotes, degrades, delights in strife,
And makes a Lottery of life.
I can enjoy her while she's kind;
But when she dances in the wind,
And shakes her wings, and will, not stay,
I puff the Prostitute away;
The little or the much she gave, is quietly resign'd;
Content with poverty my Soul I arm;
And Vertue, tho’ in rags, will keep me warm.
10
Mildred E, Hartsock, "Dryden's Flays; A Study in Ideas.,"
Seventeenth Century Studies, 2nd ser., ed, Robert Shafer (Princeton,
1937), pp. 71-176.
11
Louis Tester, "The Dramatic Use of Hobbes' Political
Ideas," ELH, III (1936), p. 143.

12
Thomas Hobbes, The English Works, ed. Sir William
Molesworth (London, 1841), "Human Natures or the Fundamental
Elements of Policy," Vol. IV, p, 70,
13
Ibid.
14
Ibid., "Of Liberty and Necessity," Vol, IV, p, 274,
15
Ibid., "Leviathan," Vol. II, p. 96.
16
Ibid., p. 100,
17
Ovid, With an English Translation, ed, Arthur Leslie
Wheeler (London; New York, 1939)* "Tristia" V, Eleg. VIIII, 11, 15-
18, Wheeler's translation: "Changeable Fortune wanders abroad
with aimless steps, abiding firm and persistent in no place; now
she comes in Joy, now she takes on a harsh mien, steadfast only
in her own fickleness,"
18
Barbara Bartholomew, Fortuna and Natures A Reading
of Three Chaucer Narratives (London, Í960T", pp, 11-12.
19
Ibid., pp. 16-17,
20
Torquato Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, The Edward Fairfax
translation newly introduced by Robert Weiss (Carbondale, Ill,,
1962), Bock VII, stanzas 69-70,
21
Ibid., Book IX, stanza 56.
22
Ibid., Book XIII, stanza 80,
23
Ibid,, Book stanza 75.
24
Ibid., Book XX, stanza 136.
25
"Palamon and Arcite," Poems, Vol, IV, Book III, 11,
792-793, p. 1520.

CHAPTER III
PROVIDENTIAL CHANGE AND RESTORATION
In contrast to the destruction emanating from and en¬
compassing the group of characters allied to Lyndaraxa, there is
a significant group of characters who not only survive Granada’s
surrender, but who take part in the "blessed change" announced by
Benzayda in the last moments of the play. The Conquest of Granada
is concerned both with destruction and restoration and with a
paradox of conquest which links the two processesi out of de¬
struction comes renewal and restoration, out of surrender comes
victory. This paradox encompasses individuals and empires. The
historical ’koment" of the play is that point of time in which the
last vestiges of the Moorish Empire are being erased, and, as a
consequence, the play abounds in images of destructions towers
fall, temples are laid waste, and walls are besieged, both lit¬
erally and metaphorically. As metaphors, these images of de¬
struction describe the action of human passions upon the minds and
souls of individual men, drawing upon the larger context of the
conquest of an empire for their significance. The paradox which
is true of th9 conquest of empires is also true of the individual
soul. The passions of hatred, revenge, lust and desire for absolute
freedom from control which drive Lyndaraxa and her group are elements
which divide and devastate the city of Granada} on the other hand,
65

66
the forms of love which transform Almansor, Selin and Abenamar are
the elements which ultimately rebuild and. unify Granada. The love
which rebuilds, heals and reconciles proves ultimately more potent
than the destructive power of selfish desires and hatred. Thus,
the presence of "typical" heroic conflicts of passion vs, reason,
passion vs, honor, and platonic vs. sensual love, in The Conquest,
are secondary in importance to the theme of reconciliation and
restoration. As with destruction, reconciliation and restoration
are both historical and individual; Granada is restored to the
Christian empire, but before this is effected, a whole series of
transformations and reconciliations takes place within the walls
of Granada

Section I
Both the destructive and the restorative forces apparent
in The Conquest of Granada are linked with two phrases used to
describe two rather narrowly limited events, but events which carry
with them the sense of larger, historical processes at work: the
phrases, “blessed change'’ and "benefits of fate," both imply
providential modes which encompass and mitigate the destruction
caused by and engulfing the group of characters surrounding Lyndaraxa,
In Part II, Act V, sc, ii, Benzayda describes Almahide’s assumption
of the name, Isabella of Granada, as a "blessed change" in which
all desire to partake by learning of the Christian faith of their
conquerors. Earlier in the play, Ozmyn describes the almost fatal
circumstances under which he meets and loves Benzayda as the
"benefits of fate" (Part I, Act V, sc. i). Ozmyn’s phrase indicates
a pagan's attempt to explain the mysterious working of fate, and
Dryden was to use it again later in his translation of the Aeneid,^
Only in Benzayda*s phrase is it immediately apparent that a pro¬
vidential process is being referred to. Previous to their use in
The Conquest of Granada, however, Dryden had applied the two phrases,
with variations, in contexts which established their broader
historical implications: Heroic Stanzas, Astraea Redux, and Annus
Kirabilis contribute greatly to an understanding of the paradoxes
of the basic providential process indicated by the phrases "benefits
67

68
of fate" and the "blessed change," as they are used in The Conquest
of Granada,
The relationship between providence and fortune in Dryden's
Heroic Stanzas and Astraea Redux has been pointed out by Alan Roper
2
in his chapter, "The Kingdom of England," Mi', Roper maintains
that these early poems contain a consistent attitude toward fortune
and providence in the affairs of state. In the Heroic Stanzas,
providence manifests itself in providing a ruler, whether king or
protector, in order to maintain order. Cromwell is Heaven's choice,
and, therefore, above Fortune's sways
His Grandeur he deriv'd from Heav'n alone,
For he was great e'er Fortune made him so? . â–  . _
(Heroique Stanzas, 11. 21, 22)-^
As Heaven's choice, the very shape of his career implies the
order that he shall impose on England:
How shall I then begin, or where conclude
To draw a Fame so truly Circular?
For in a round what order can be skew'd,
Where all the parts so equall perfect are?
(Heroique Stanzas, 11, l?-20)
Heaven's favor makes Cromwell "secure of fortune," and, presumably,
he lends to England the security that he himself enjoys. Even
Scotland should be thankful and"bless that fate which did his
Armes dispose/Her land to Civilize as to subdue” (Heroique Stanzas,
11. 6?-68). In the hands of a providential choice, conquest becomes
a blessing.
The implication of the Heroic Stanzas, that a ruler,

69
chosen of Heaven to impose order upon a kingdom, stops the vacillations
of fortune and turns conquest into a blessing, is repeated, with
a variation, in Astraea Redux, Here, the process by which de¬
struction and distress become "blessings" is more fully described,
England is disrupted by a "sullen Intervall of Warre. . during
which the "rabble" enjoy a "lawless salvage [sic] Libertie." But
while England is in chaos, Charles II is experiencing a "Pilgrimage"
which will prepare him to return and restore order to England.,
Like Aeneas, he is "toss'd by Fate, and hurried up and downj" however,
"His Manly Courage ovei'came his Fate" and his sufferings are trans¬
formed by Dryden into blessings that will eventually descend to
the nation as a whole. First, however, the poet expresses his
puzzlement over the mystery of suffering and blessing and then
proceeds, in images of black and white, and light and dark,to
establish the paradox of suffering. Because of its relevance to
The Conquest of Granada, it is worthwhile to quote the passages
in which the process of transformation explicitly takes place.
The poet expresses his own feelings in terms of an
ambiguity»
How shall I then my doubtful thoughts express
That must his suff 'rings both regret and bless,'
(Astraea Redux, 11. 71-72)
A parallel between Charles II and David begins to clarify the
relationship between the suffering exile and the triumphant king,
and the advantages to be gained by Charles from the afflictions
of exile are the same as accrued to David during his banishment:

70
Inur'd to suffer ere he came to raigne
No rash procedure will his actions stain.
To bus'ness ripened by digestive thought
His future rule is into Method brought:
Well might the Ancient Poets then confer
On Night the honour'd name of Counseller,
Since struck with rayes of prosp'rous fortune blind
Vie light alone in dark afflictions find.
(11. 87-90, 93-96)
It is not for Charles to be "lost in sleep and ease," but to become
tempered in misfortune in order to rule a disquieted age; "lazy
Ages" produce "supine felicity," but
Such is not Charles his too too active age,
Which govern'd by the wild distemper'd rage
Of some black Star infecting all the Skies,
Made him at his own cost like Adam wise,
(11, 111-114)
lastly, Charles is cast upon England’s shores by "those loud
stormes that did against him rore," and the paradox of good arising
from ill, of blessing emerging from suffering is complete. The
whole pattern is then ssen in terms of the canvas of an artist
whose subtlety in the use of black and white is parallel to the
gradations of the change which has been wrought before the eyes of
the English:
let as wise artists mix their colours so
That by degrees they from each other go,
Black steals unheeded from the neighb'ring white
Without offending the well cous'ned sight:
So on us stole our blessed change; while we
Th* effect did feel but scarce the manner see.
(11. 125-130)
The use of black and white and light and dark could not

71
be taken as fortuitous here considering the repetitious use of
the colors preceding this passage. Charles' "black star" which
infects the skies makes him a wiser man, and because we are apt
to be blinded by fortune's favors, "we light alone in dark afflictions
find," At Charles' return to English shores, "times whiter Series
is begun?" presumably with the return of Charles and justice
comes the premise of a happier age than that which has past. It
is more than likely that Dryden had in mind, for the direct use
of black and white, the Homan usage which he cites in,a footnote
to The Second Satire of Persius. The satire begins! "Let this
auspicious morning be exprest/With a white stone distinguished
from the rest, ..." Dryden's footnote runs as follows» "The
Romans were used to mark their fortunate days, or anything that
luckily befell them, with a white stone, which they had from the
¿4-
island of Creta, and their unfortunate with a coal."
The commentary of the California edition of the Complete
Works of John Dryden points out what appears to be an opposition
between good and evil in Astraea Redux;
On the side of evil and rebellion are arrayed
madness, faction, despair, designing leaders,
power, the vulgar, the rabble, a lawless sav¬
age liberty, wild distempered rage, frosts,
crude humors, guilt, pollution, Legion, sin,
Turks, drunkeness on martyrs' tombs, black
crimes, impious wit, wiles, and malicious arts.
And with these, in temporary alliance until
a greater power breaks their spell, are fate,
cross stars, Destiny, Fortune, Fortune's
fruitless spite, and the black star. Associated
with Charles II are Heave) miracles, good days,
the sacred purple and the scarlet gown, pil¬
grimage, the -sun, virtues, valor, honor, God's
anoited, light, wisdom, blessed change, the

72
warmth of lengthening day, Heaven’s blessing,
Providence, the blessed saints, mildness of
temper, a forgiving mind, justice, and goodness,
It is noted, however, that line 87 of the poem, in which the phrase
"Inur'd to suffer" appears, refers to "The effect of exile upon
Charles, in fostering in him patience, restraint, and a power of
shrewd observation, • . It seems to me that what is apparent
in Astraea Redux is that many of the values which the California
commentary lists under "good" owe, through Providence's transforming
power, their origin to apparent "evil": the pilgrimage "ripens"
and "trains" kings for their thrones through suffering; light is
seen in darkness; wisdom is gained from the black infecting star,
and "fortune's fruitless spight" rivets the throne. Not only is
Charles prepared by his exile to assume the throne, but the nation
is prepared to receive the king, chastised by its experience:
", , , since reform'd by what we did amiss,/We by our suff'rings
learn to prize our bliss: , , (Astraea Redux, 11, 209-210).
Providence is more than simply associated with Charles II and good,
it includes both good and ill; it is one of Providence's "modes"
to form good from evil, to perform the "blessed change," Black
and white exist side by side in Astraea Redux, and, as with painting
techniques, they "by degrees from each other go" until, when the
process is complete, the "blessed change" becomes apparent to the
observer's eyes.
Time and again Dryden used the idea of a blessed change
when viewing historical events. Particularly apparent in both
Astraea Redux and Annus Kirabilis is the process of providential

73
change whereby catastrophic events involving England reap ultimate
benefits. In the dedication to Annus Mirabilis, Dryden addresses
"The most Renowned and late Flourishing City of London, In its
Representatives The Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, ..." In
this dedication, Dryden explicitly sets forth the role of Providence
in the career of London and the English nation as a whole:
You [[London and Charles IIJ have come together
a pair of matchless Lovers, through many dif¬
ficulties; He, through a long Exile, various
traverses of Fortune, and the interposition
of many Rivals, who violently ravish'd and
with-held You from Him: And certainly you
have had your share in sufferings. 3ut
Providence has cast upon you want of Trade,
that you might appear bountiful to your
Country's necessities; and the rest of your
afflictions are not more the effects of God's
displeasure, (frequent examples of them having
been in the Reign of the most excellent Princes)
then occasions for the manifesting of your
Christian and Civil virtues. To you therefore
this Year of Wonders is justly dedicated,
because you have made it so: You who are to
stand a wonder to all Years and Ages, and who
have built your selves an immortal Monument
on your own ruines. You are now a Phoenix
in her ashes, and, as far as Humanity can ap¬
proach, a great Emblem of the suffering Deity.
But Heaven never made so much Piety and Vertue
to leave it miserable. I have heard indeed
of some vertuous persons who have ended un¬
fortunately, but never of any vertuous Nation:
Providence is engag'd too deeply, when the
cause becomes so general,
(Dedication, Annus Mirabilis)
Providence is engaged in preserving virtuous nations, but her ways
are still mysterious to man, and not unt3.1 events become history
can one see the total pattern clearly:
The undistinguish'd seeds of good and ill
Heav'n, in his bosom, from our knowledge hides;

?4
And draws them in contempt of human skill,
Which oft, for friends, mistaken foes provides.
(Annus Mlrabilis. 11, 141-144)
While Heaven is sometimes mysterious, Fortune seems down-
right arbitrary. When Fortune appears to assume power over men's
affairs it is possible that evil will be rewarded and disaster
brought to the good. For the events in Annus Mirabilis, however,
Fortune has only limited sway; she is subject to a higher power.
Providence asserts itself after the two-day naval battle when the
valiant but outnumbered British ships rest from the losses inflicted
by the Dutch:
Thus far had Fortune pow'r, here forc'd to stay,
Nor longer durst with vertue be at strife: . , ,
(Annus Mirabilis, 11. 412-413)
Rupert arrives to save the British ships and virtue from destruction.
Thus, Providence supersedes Fortune in a dramatic, sudden turn of
events. The second event, London in flames, however, shows Pro¬
vidence working in the familiar mode of Astraea Redux--the blessed
change is in evidence once again, London's Guardian Angel (Quatrain
224) leaves the city to its "Fate." "Fate" and a retributive pattern
are linked as causes of London's catastrophe. The English nation,
"Swell'd** with its successes, tempts "Fate to lay us low" (11. 837-
840), and it is indicated that the city, like the structure of St.
Paul's, must be "purg'd" by fire, because "prophan'd" by Civil War.
Besides the element of moral retribution in the city's fate, however,
Diyden indicates that there are certain benefits or blessings to
accrue from the disaster of the fire. A noble change is foretold

75
in four separate quatrains!
Yet, London, Empress of the Northern Clime,
By an high fate thou greatly didst expire;
Great as the worlds, which at the death of time
Must fall, and rise a nobler frame by fire,
(Q. 212, 11. 845-843)
Now down the narrow streets it swiftly came,
And, widely opening, did on both sides prey.
This benefit we sadly owe the flame,
If onely ruine mast enlarge our way.
(Q. 277, 11. 1105-1108)
Me-thinks already, from this Chymick flame,
I see a city of more precious molds
Rich as the Town which gives the Indies name,
With silver pav'd, and all divine with Gold,
(Q. 293, 11. 1169-1172)
More great then humane, now, and more August
New deifi'd she from her fires does rises
Her widening streets on new foundations trust,
And, opening, into larger parts she flies,
(Q. 295, 11. 1177-1180)
Besides purging London of its sins, the fire is to bring about a
Phoenix-like transformation, enlarging and enobling in its de¬
struction, Dryden's city is both Ovidian and biblical in its
changes the destruction which is parallel to the fate of the world
"at the death of time" need not simply refer to the firing of
n
the royal palace of heaven in Ovid's Metamorphoses,1 but, paired
with the reference to a new city, suggests also the biblical account
of the end of earth and the establishment of the New Jerusalems
O
a city likely to be "With silver pav'd, and all divine with Gold."
Astraea Redux and Annus Mirabilis end with prophesy;
in both cases the events are yet to be completed, to become history,
Astraea Redux moves from the past (rebellion, suffering) through

76
the present (Charles' return) to the future:
And now times whiter Series is begun
Which in soft Centuries shall smoothly run; . . .
(11. 292-293)
Annus Hirabilis proceeds through the naval encounter with the Dutch
and London's fire to the final stanza giving, the poet's vision of
what shall be:
Thus to the Eastern wealth through storms we go;
But now, the Cape once doubled, fear no more:
A constant Trade-wind will securely blow,
And gent3^y lay us on the Spicy shore.
(Q. 304, 11. 1213-1216)
Although the events which Dryden made the subjects of these two
poems were “present" history and, as was true of the Charles,
Shaftesbury, and Monmouth struggle, "were not brought to an Extremity
where I left the Story. . .yet Dryden finds that in such an
event "There seems . * ,, to be room left for a Composure; ..."
("To the Reader," Absalom and Achitophel). Th9 "Composures" of
Astraea Redux and Annus Hirabilis are prophecies in the tradition
o
of .Jove's utterances to Venus in Book I of Virgil's Aeneis, and
the vision of Troy "extended" in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book 15.^
Dryden's "Composures" are prophecies based on an assumption that
England, is basically a virtuous nation and, therefore, the object
of the special concern of Providence. As Dryden announces in the
dedication of Annus Hirabilis, there is a special continuity for
virtuous nations (and cities) which may be represented by the
Phoenix, an emblem of Christ's death and resurrection. Throughout

77
the poem, there is a sense of rise and fall, but where there are
special virtues in a nation, these virtues provide a promise of
renewal even in the midst of destruction; nations are the particular
concern of Fate in the Aeneid and of Providence in Dryden's poetry.
Where nations are concerned, Providence works in a peculiarly
temporal mode—nations are rewarded and punished in this world,
because they are finite and possess no immortal ’'soul,'*
Dryden*s attitude was not particularly unique; Edward
Stillingfleet, in "A Sermon Preached on the Fast-Day November 13.1678,“
expounded in more detail concerning the special relationship between
nations and Providence. Stillingfleet's avowed purpose is to show
That God doth exercise a particular providence
with respect to the state and condition of
Nations, i. e, as they are united into several
and distinct bodies, which are capable as
such of being happy or miserable. For since
mankinds entering into society is both necessary
and advantageous to them, and God doth not
barely permit and approve, but dispose and
incline men to it; and hath given them Laws
to govern themselves by, with respect to
society; it is but reasonable to suppose
that God should call men to an account in
that capacity; and to distribute rewards and
punishments according to the nature of their
actions; which must either be done in this
world, or it cannot be done at all; for all
those bonds are dissolved by death, and men
shall not answer for their sins by Kingdoms
and Nations in another world, but every man
shall give account of himself unto God. • • •
We say, and with a great deal of P-eason, that
it is not disparagement to the Justice of
Gods Providence for good men to suffer, or
for wicked men to escape punishment in this
Life, because the great day of recompense
is to come, . , . But that will not hold as
to Nations, who shall not suffer in communities
then as they have sinned here: . ,

78
William Strong, in his sermon, "The Mysteries of Providence,"
also divides Providence into two categories, God has placed the
Providential Kingdom into the governance of Christ, and this kingdom
is two-fold: l) The Spiritual Kingdom "by which he rules the
hearts of his people; so he is King of Saints," and 2). "The Pro¬
vidential Kingdom likewise by which he rules the affairs of the world,
12
and so he is the King of Nations,"
Ths special temporal dimension of nations necessitates
temporal judgment upon their virtues and vices, lending a kind of
completeness and predictability to the pattern of history. More
often than not, this pattern is described as a circular one, and
the Phoenix is the image of its working, George Hakewill, in a
treatise censuring the concept of a linear decline of the world,
claims that decline alternates with growth in a rhythmic pattern that
recalls the Fhoenix's death-birth pattern: Empires "have all againe
declined and come to nothing; and out of their ashes have others
sprung up, which likewise within a while (such a circulation there
TO
is in all things) have bin turned into ashes again." J Hakewill
then quotes a passage from "Bartas in his Colonies" in which the
motions of history are likened to waves:
As when the winde the angry Ocean moves,
Wave hunteth wave, and billow billow shoves;
So doe all Nations justle each the other,
And so one people doth pursue another,
And scarse a second hath the first unhoused, ^
Before a third him thence againe hath rowsed,
Hakewill' s rise and fall design is not, as the Bartas excerpt
would indicate out of context, merely a natural phenomena which

79
occurs regardless of a nation's merit; sinful luxury brings about
decline, and the whole process reveals "The Creators honor, the
reputation of his wisdoms, his justice, his goodness, and his power;
being all of them in my judgment by the opinion of Natures decay
not a little impeached and blemished,"
Whatever the descriptive image used—Phoenix, cycle, or
wave—*it is apparent to these Christian writers of the seventeenth
century that a "design" is discernible, that there is a temporal
rhythm of rise and fall, that one can survey in history a series
of completed designs which Providence has wrought out of the raw
materials of civil societies. These writers had no less a pre¬
cedence than that of St, Augustine who insisted upon the inclusion
of political societies in the order of things that fall under the
dominion of Providential law: "How , , . can anyone believe that
it was the will of God to exempt from the laws of His providence
the rise and fall of political societies?"^ History's design
includes both good and evil in an antithetical balance—a harmony
of opposites that produces a rhetoric of history:
God would never have created a single
angel - not even a single man - whose future
wickedness He foresaw, unless, at the same
time, He meant the harmony of history, like
the beauty of a poem, to be enriched by anti¬
thetical elements. Now, just as this kind
of antithesis lends beauty to literary style,
so, in the antitheses of history, there is a
rhetoric not of words, but of facts, that
makes for beauty. This is the idea which
the Book of Eeclesiásticas expresses clearly
as follows: 'Good is set against evil, and
life against death; so also is the sinner
against a just man. And so look upon all
the works of the Most High, Two and two,
and one against another..

80
Dryden also used an analogy from art to describe the
process of Providence as seen in historical retrospect; in Astraea
Redux, the metaphor is that of a large canvas upon which the artist
(God) applies his oils in gradations—white emerging from black
almost imperceptibly, the technique so subtle that the observer
senses the effect, but "scarce [.did] the manner see," The artist's
canvas and the Phoenix are the emblems of Providential change in
Astraea Redux and Annus Mirabilis, Both emblems imply change, both
describe a process which encompasses evil and good, death and life,
destruction and restoration.

Section II
In their first appearance in The Conquest of Granada,
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella's initial speeches establish the
design or pattern of history of which Spain and the Moorish empire
are a parts "time," "heaven," and “earth," in short, all causes,
supernatural and natural, join to second the Spanish Monarch's
desires:
Ferdinands At length the time is come, when Spain shall be
From the long yoke of Moorish tyrants free.
All causes seem to second our design,
And heaven and earth in their destruction join.
When empire in its childhood first appears,
A watchful fate o'ersees its tender years;
Till, grown more strong, it thrusts and stretches out,
And elbows all the kingdoms round about,
The place thus made for its first breathing free,
It moves again for ease and luxury;
Till, swelling by degrees, it has possessed
The greater space, and new crowds up the rest;
When, from behind, there starts some petty state,
And pushes on its now unwieldy fate;
Then down the precipice of time it goes,
And sinks in minutes, which in ages rose,
(Part II, Act I, sc, i)
Ferdinand's concept of empire echces Du Bartas' wave motion, but
it also has a parallel in the ages of man—childhood, youth, middle
age and old age. 3oth metaphors imply only natural birth, growth
and decay cycles, Isabella, however, adds a prophetic dimension
to the pattern which Ferdinand has established: Columbus' voyage
indicates the temporal expansion and future wealth of the Christian
81

82
Empire, but the conquest of one city stands out with special sig¬
nificance:
Isabella: Should bold Columbus in his search succeed,
And find those beds in which bright metals breed;
Tracing the sun, who seems to steal away,
That miser-like, he might alone survey
Tho wealth which he in western mines did lay, -
Not all that shinning ore could give my heart
The joy, this conquered kingdom will impart;
Which, rescued from the misbelievers’ hands,
Shall now, at once, shake off its double bands:
At once to freedom and true faith restored,
Its old religion and its ancient lord,
(Part II, Act I, sc. i)
The key words in Ferdinand's speech are "destruction,” "design,"
and "fate," and the metaphors indicate a tragic rhythm, ending in
destruction; Isabella's speech emphasizes "joy," rescue, "freedom,"
"faith," and ends with triumphant restoration.
Neither Ferdinand nor Isabella speaks in terms of pos¬
sible conquest; they speak in terms of certainty—it is a part
of an inevitable temporal movement that Granada be restored to
freedom, and the "true faith,” and its "ancient lord," It is, at
the same time, more than a temporal movement, more than political
justice that Ferdinand and Isabella occupy a throne that is theirs
by the historical right that the Duke of Arcos claims on their
behalf when he appears before Boabdelin in Part I, Act I, sc, i.
In Part II the same Duke of Arcos, in attempting to persuade
Almanzor to join the Christians, states explicitly what Ferdinand
and Isabella's combined speeches have implied—it is ultimately
Heaven's design that Granada must inevitably be conquered:
I shall be glad, by whste'er means I can.

33
To get the friendship of so brave a man;
And would your unavailing valour call,
From aiding those whom Heaven has doomed to fall.
(Part II, Act III, sc. iii)
Ferdinand voices a birth and decay theory of history which,
in itself, would lend no special significance to the fall of the
Moorish empire. Ferdinand's concept of the passing of temporal
kingdoms has dark overtones! the world, by its very nature, is
subject to decay; nations slip and slide down the "precipice of
time"—their very existence is precarious at most. This theme has
an echo in the words of Boabdelin who has every reason to feel the
precariousness of his own position as Granada's king with the
Christian forces threatening conquest from without, and the mob of
Moorish subjects threatening rebellion from within, He voices
the traditional lament of besieged kings, and in his despair sees
the Moorish empire as beyond his powers to save:
Of all mankind, the heaviest fate he bears,
Who the last crown of sinking empire wears.
No kingly planet of his birth took care;
Heaven's outcast, and the dross of every star!
(Part II, Act I, sc, ii)
The theme of Isabella's speech, however, is that of
restoration. Isabella does not negate Ferdinand's analysis, but
extends it. Decay is inevitable, but there is always work of re¬
newal and restoration to be done by Christian monarchs.
The distinction between Ferdinand's analysis of the
nature of temporal processes and Isabella's heart which is made
"joyful" by "This conquered kingdom" is not an accidental one; it

84
is an indication of a distinction in their roles as rulers that is
consistently maintained in their appearances in Part II, Ferdinand
and Isabella have not appeared as dramatic personages before the
first scene of Part II, In Part I they remain the unseen sovereigns
of the Christian forces which are reported to be laying siege to
the walls of Granada, Their presence is made known through the
testimony of the skirmishes between the Moors and the Christian
forces, and the appearance of their emissary, the Duke of Arcos,
It is not until the first scene of Part II that they express their
own attitudes toward Granada and establish for the audience the
significance of the conquest, Up to this point the dramatic focus
has been upon the individuals within Granada's walls—their loves,
hatreds, rebellions and heroics, Ferdinand and Isabella's ap¬
pearance, more than likely ceremoniously observed on stage, moves
the audience to a point outside the city's walls, lending a larger
significance to the conflicts within by establishing the broad
historical context of the conquest of Granada,
It is strange that the impact of their brief moments on
stage have been generally overlooked in analyses of The Conquest,
Ferdinand and Isabella appear only twice in Part II, but, significantly,
they begin and close it. They are the only ’’legitimate" sovereigns
of the play, and, as such, are the only true arbiters of order,
justice, and mercy in the political landscape. In one sense,
however, they stand outside and above the turmoils of Granada?
neither one effects much change on the disorder already fermenting
within Granada's walls, nor is it due to their power as monarchs

85
that the hatreds and turmoils of the Moors are first resolved.
Forgiveness and reconciliation take place before Granada's sur¬
render; Almanzor learns a new concept of heroic conduct before
he presents his sword to Ferdinand. Ferdinand and Isabella stand
at the apex of a series of changes, but to them belongs the power
to effect the final ceremonial manifestations of the changes which
have taken place within individual characters. Only Ferdinand is
directly involved in furthering Granada's disorders because they
"second" his and heaven's design. His is a practical mind; it
is politically expedient to have Abdalla as an ally and to encourage
his hopes for the crown, because "Those, who would conquer, roast
their foes divide." (Part II, Act I, sc, i).
The character of Ferdinand's role as monarch becomes more
clearly delineated as the first scene develops. He is concerned
with the practical, immediate aspects of rule: military victory,
justice, and political order. When it is announced that one of his
military leaders, the Master of Alcantara, has been slain in
single combat, Ferdinand's concern is to render justice for the
death of a brave soldier: "A braver man I had not in my host;/
His murderer shall not long his conquest boast: , , , " (Fart II,
Act I, sc. i). His tone changes somewhat when he hears the cir¬
cumstances of the combat and of the bravery of the Moorish knight,
Ozmyn, but he decides that it is expedient that the youth die "to
content the soldiers," At this point Isabella reveáis her special
role as sovereign, co-equal with her husband iñ the rule of Spain.
After Ozmyn and Benzayda display their love and their willingness
to die for one another, Isabella is moved to request a change in

86
Ozmyn's "doom." She reveals that.love, not conquest, was the force
that joined the kingdoms of Castile and Arragon. Love, mercy and
pity are the powers that emanate from hers
Isabellas Permit me, sir, these lovers' doom to gives
My sentence is, they shall together live.
The courts of Kings
To all distressed should sanctuaries be,
But most to lovers in adversity,
Castile and Arragon,
Which long against each,other war did move,
My plighted lord and I have joined by love;
And, if to add this conquest Heaven thinks good,
I would not have it stained with lovers' blood,
(Part II, Act I, sc, i)
In this instance, love and mercy abrogate the sentence declared
in the name of justice and military expediency, Ferdinand assents
to the superior force which Isabella represents: "Whatever Isabella
shall command/Shall always be a law to Ferdinand" (Part II, Act I,
sc, i), Isabella's power becomes apparent; love is her theme and
mercy and pity are her royal attributes. She offers protection to
the Moorish lovers and enunciates the ideal of heroic love for which
she is the center:
Granada is for noble loves renowned:
Her best defence is in her lovers found.
Love's an heroic passion, which can find
No room in any base degenerate mind:
It kindles all the soul with honour's fire,
To make the lover worthy his desire,
(Part II, Act I, sc, i)
She then predicts: "they shall overcome, who love the best,"
The delineation of the differences in the royal attributes
represented in the characters of Ferdinand and Isabella is continued

87
in their next, and last, appearance. They are not, however, dif¬
ferences which imply contradiction and opposition. Their attributes
are complementa,ry, and when combined and balanced they form a whole
which includes all aspects of the ideal Christian rulers justice,
and the military and political power to implement that justice, is
joined with love and mercy. Justice and military might alone are
not sufficient to effect the conquest of Granada. In the last
scene of Part II, Ferdinand,busily conducts the military aspects of
Granada's conquest, seconded, and strengthened by Isabella's
"shining train" of ladies who inspire courage in the Christian troops.
At the very point, however, when he steps forward to assert his
military might and decide a dubious battle, Ferdinand is prevented,
A messenger brings an account of the battle raging around and in
Granadal the combat carries a "doubtful face," and the "advantage
A.
is on the adverse side" where Almanzor leads the Moors, Ferdinand
assumes his role of military leader and threatens to meet Almanzor
in battle: "With my Castilian foot I'll meet his rage;" but as
he is “going out" shouts of victory are heard. Ironically, Granada
is not to fall by the might of military power; news comes that
Almanzor has heard the voice of the ghost of his mother, and, ad¬
dressing the "blessed shade," has declared that he will obey the
"sacred voice" and falls at the feet of his former enemy, the Duke
of Arcos, now revealed as his father, Ferdinand's reaction to the
news is to exclaim, "0 blessed event!"
From this point on, punishment is meted out to those who
deserve it and mercy and grace are extended to all lovers through
Isabella's reconciling power. For her role in aiding the Spanish

88
monarchs, Ferdinand politically presents the government of Granada
to Lyndaraxa, but Abdelmeleeh becomes the instrument of retributive
justice by stabbing Lyndaraxa, and then executes himself for her
murder: "I do myself that justice I did her'' (Part XI, Act V, sc, ii).
At Lyndaraxa*s death all disorder ceases; reconciliation and bles¬
sings become the dominant themes and Isabella assumes the leading
role in the aftermath of Granada's surrender. The final "blessed
change" is brought about when Alroahide fulfills the vows she made
to the Christian God in her distress, and Queen Isabella bestows
upon her, as an emblem of her transformation, the Christian name
/
of "Isabella of Granada,"
The conquest of Granada has become what Isabella prophesied
in her first speech—a restoration; it is not, finally, brought
about through military conquest, but through the interventions of
a ghost and through Isabella’s mercy, Conquest becomes transformed
into blessing, lovers are reconciled, pagans are converted to the
Christian faith, and Almanzor takes up the banner of "great Ferdinand
and Isabel of Spain!" The world which existed apart from the heroic
passion of love as delineated by Isabella, that world, which was
ordered by self-interest and lust for power, in which Fortune was
worshipped as a supreme deity, has reaped justice and death. On
the other hand, there is the reconciling and ordering power of love
and mercy presented in the form of Spain's Queen Isabella; she
announces the final "blessed change," and Granada emerges, by
virtue of the grace extended to its chief lovers, as one of
Dryden's emblems of the workings of providence in the civitas
terrena

Section III
In The Conquest of Granada, the "blessed" changes and
the "benefits of fate" are not simply historical processes which
affect nations? the processes of transformation and change also
work upon individual characters within the political-social unit.
In fact, the larger political changes take place only after and as
a result of the dramatic changes effected upon individuals within
Granada, Not surprisingly, the transformations and changes which
take place are facilitated largely through love, Queen Isabella
is the play’s chief exponent of heroic love, but she is a fixed
point of reference toward which all lovers gravitate. Dramatically,
she is the articulate, single point around which a very large cast
of shifting figures revolves. Those not held by the power of
"heroic love" fly off and die like planets not subject to the power
which holds the ordered universe together. The power of heroic
love is displayed in the two sets of lovers, Oznyn and Benzayda,
and Almnzor and Almahide, who undergo separate but parallel series
of events which carry them toward the same end—inclusion in
Isabella's kingdom of heroic love,
Ozmyn and Benzayda are not difficult to follow in the
course of their love because they both possess constants—their
virtue and their love for one another. What is not constant is
the political climate of Granada; its fluctuations are due, in
89

90
largo,part, to the hatred generated between its two most prominent
families, the Zegrys and the Abencerrages. The Zegrys seek revenge
for the death of Tarifa, son of Selin and brother to Benzayda, at
the hands of Ozrnyn, an Abencerrage. It is revealed that Tarifa,
true to the Zegry's penchant for evil, exchanged a blunted cane for
a ”steel-pointed dart" in a game of "juego de canas," and was killed
by Ozmyn in self-defence. The Abencerrages, on the other hand, are
a virtuous and loyal family whose main infamy in the eyes of the
Zegrys is that "Their mongrel race is mixed with Christian breed: /
Henc8 'tis that they those dogs in prisons feed" (Part I, Act I,
sc, i), Abdelmelech establishes’the character of the Abencerrages
by claiming the highest of the Christian virtues as the standard by
which the family conducts itself:
Our holy prophet wills, that charity
Should even to birds and beasts extended bej
None knows what fate is for himself designed.}
The thought of human chance should make us kind.
(Part I, Act I, sc, i)
The Zegry's desire for revenge gains a temporary triumph
when Ozmyn is captured in a skirmish between the rebellions Zegrys
and the loyal Abencerrages and turned over to Selin to be disposed
of as Selin sees fit. Out of this situation arises the first
evidence of the workings of a process which Ozmyn sees as the
"benefit of fate," When Benzayda is called upon to perform the
execution of the slayer of her brother, she first pities and then
falls in love with Ozmyn, They both flee the wrath of Selin, hoping
to find refuge and protection in Abeñamar, Ozmyn's father, Oznyn

91
describes the danger which he has undergone to his father in terms
of a "blessing," a "benefit of fate." He sees their love for one
another as a paradox, beginning in a set of circumstances created
by a desire for revenge. Even Benzayda discerns a process which
begins in suffering and ends with loves "His manly suffering my
esteem did move;/That bred compassion, and compassion love" (Part I,
Act V, sc, i). But Abenamar does not appreciate the paradox; when
he discovers that Benzayda is a Zegry, he demands that Ozmyn give
her up, Abenamer's "murdering will." leaves the lovers with no
sanctuary:
Qzayn. Thus then, secured of what we hold most dear
(Each other's love) we'll go - I know not where.
For where, alas, should we our flight begin?
The foe's without; our parents are within,
(Part I, Act V, sc, i)
Benzayda urges that they still consider themselves blest in one
another and let whatever force governs the world take care of all
else:
\
Benzayda, I'll fly to you, and you shall fly to me;
Our flight but to each other's arms shall be.
To providence and chance permit .the rest;
Let üiTbut love enough» and we are blest.
(Part I, Act V, sc, i)
Part I ervis with the report that Ozmyn and Benzayda have
fled the city. Part II begins with their capture by the Christian
forces and. the threat to Ozmyn's life described in Section II of
this chapter. In spite of the vacillations of their fortunes, their
love remains constant and wins the admiration of Queen Isabella,

92
who then offers them sanctuary from what Benzayda describes as the
"blows" of fate and Osmvn describes as the "contagion" in his fate,
Benzayda responds to the offer of mercy: "The frowns of fate we
will no longer fear:/ill fate, great queen, can never find us here"
(Part II, Act I, sc, i). From the evidence of her intervention on
their behalf, Benzayda and Ozmyn assume that it is within the powers
of the Spanish Queen to stop the vacillations of fortune and the
"frowns" of fate,
The hatred of their fathers draws the lovers from the
protection of Queen Isabella back into a world which seems to be
dominated by fortune and desire for revenge. It is soon apparent,
however, that the virtuous love shared by Csmyn and Benzayda is
capable of conquering the hearts of those who have sworn vengeance,
Selin, Benzayda's father, is the first to be vanquished, Ozmyn
protects Selin from an attack by his own father, Abenamar, and
discovers that in this act he has won Selin’s forgiveness, Selin
first addresses Benzayda, "I have been much to blame;/But let your
goodness expiate for my sha.me, . and then turns to Oznyn to
predict that "Even that hard father yet may one day be/By kindness
vanquished, as you vanquished me; , , ,M (Part II, Act II, sc. i),
Selin's prophesy is fulfilled when Benzayda and Ozmyn display their
loyalty and love for one another before Abenamar, Selin himself
asks, "This virtue would even savages subdue;/And shall it want
the power to vanquish you?" Abenamar answers, using the vocabulary
established by Selin and extending the metaphor of battle:
Yes, I am vanquished! The fierce conflict's past,

93
And shams itself is now o'ercoma at last.
'Twas long before my stubborn mind was won;
But, melting once, I on the sudden run;
Nor can I hold my headlong kindness more,
Than I could curb ay cruel rage before.
(Part II, Act IV, sc. i) '
As far as Ozmyn, Benzayda, Selin and Abenamar are con¬
cerned, the battles involving their particular interests and passions
are over; the forces of love, pity, charity and mercy have con¬
quered. Whether Dryden simply created Ozmyn and Benzayda as "sops"
to a public who demanded "characters to the French standard, , . .
13
patterns of exact virtues" is irrelevant. What he did create in
the trials of the lovers was a pattern or design which complements
the overall movement of the play from destruction to restoration,
It is true that there is little of what one could call "character
development" in the portraits of the two lovers, but there is the
movement which their love effects from disaster to peace, from
alienation to reconcilement, and from revenge to mercy, Ozmyn and
Benzayda are worthy of accepting Queen Isabella's offer of mercy
and inclusion in her kingdom of heroic lovers, but they are also
capable of returning to the world from which they fled and reconciling
Selin and Abenamar, preparing the way for their inclusion in the
mercy which Isabella extends at the end of the play. The metaphor
most often used to describe the progress and effect of the love of
Ozmyn and Benzayda is that of conquest—a kind of battle between
love and hatred is waged with Selin and Abenamar constituting- the
"enemy." Both fathers succumb to the lovers, using the same
vocabulary; they are "vanquished" by the virtue displayed by their

94
children. The terns of surrender are forgiveness and mercy.
In the process of the "conquests” made by Ozmyn and
Benzayda, the selfless quality of love is amply displayed by the
lovers and adopted by those they vanquish, The themes of selfishness
and selflessness run in counterpoint throughout the play. While
Abdalla, Zulema and Lyndaraxa play out their deceptions and display
extremos of self-interest and self-love, Ozmyn, Benzayda, Selin
and Abenamar gradually move to form a unit characterised by sacrifice
and love. Soon after Selin is reconciled to1 the lovers, Abdalla
joins the group to whisper his version of self-love in an aside
which is juxtaposed to the emotions of love the father now feels
for his daughter and her lover:
Abdalla [[Aside] ............
How many are not loved, who think they are,'
Yet all are willing to believe the fair?
And, though 'tis beauty's known and obvious cheat,
Yet man's self-love still favours the deceit.
[Exit Abdalla
Selin. Farewell, my children^ equally so dear,
That I myself am to myself less near: , . ,
(Part II, Act II, sc. i)
The two sets of characters seem to have one thing in
common—fortune apparently conspires to destroy the hopes of both
groups. Benzayda and Oz-myn vie to sacrifice themselves to Abenamar's
rage, and when Benzayda leaves to carry out her plan to surrender
to Abenamar, Ozmyn swears to stop her and give himself up:
Fortune, at last, has run me out of breath;
I have no refuge but the arms of death:
To that dark sanctuary I will go;
She cannot reach me when I lie so low.
(Part II, Act III, sc. ii)

95
In the very next scene Lyndaraxa, seeking to secure an elusive
fortune, attempts to win Almanzor and fails. The oppositions and
/
parallels continue into the next acti In Act IV, sc, i, Abenamar
is "vanquished" by Benzayda's virtuous actions and is reconciled
to the lovers and Selin, while, in the following scene, Abdalla is
slain by Abdelmeieeh—vanquished in a fatal sense, and unmourned
by the woman for whom he died. Reconciliation and destruction are
juxtaposed; in one scene, to be vanquished is to put aside revenge
and rage for a renewal of filial ties and love; in the other scene,
to be vanquished is to die a fruitless death. Blessing and new
sight attend the one; deceit and death attend the other.
Ozirjyn's phrase "benefit of fate" involves a concept of
the emergence of ultimate good from temporary ill, and of a power
which governs the universe, imposing a design which is only seen
19
in snatches by man, Ozmyn recognizes the operative process of
such a power early, for his love for 3enzayda is one. such "benefit
of fate." But he too is subject to the apparent whims of fortune,
and, at one point, feels that sh9 rules the universe and that only
death can release him from pursuit by the fickle goddess, Isabella,
not death, however, becomes the ultimate sanctuary for the lovers
and their parents.
Almanzor and Almahide are also included in the final dis¬
pensation; theirs is a parallel, but radically different process
dominated by the figure of Almanzor. The course of events surrounding
Almanzor is, in keeping with his "irregular" spirit, erratic,
Almanzor is in and out of scrapes, first championing one side and

96
then the other in Granada's political unrest. Whatever side is the
object of his fickle loyalty seems to gain the upper hand. But
too much attention has been paid to Almanzor's penchant for victory
in most comments on his character, What is usually forgotten is
that Granda is conquered despite the fact that Almanzor is its most
illustrious defender. Dryden himself warns the reader against
placing too much value upon Almanzor's victories? "In the rest of
Almanzor's actions you see him for the most part -victorious? but
the same fortune has constantly attended many, heroes,-who were not
imaginary, let, you see it no inheritance to him; for, in the first
place, he is made a prisoner; and, in the last, defeated, and
20
not able to preserve the city from being taken," The most
striking aspect of Dryden's hero is that he achieves his greatest
stature in defeat, Dryden may have been aware of the original
Moorish form of the name Almanzor, A1 Manzor al Allah, a title which
could only be conferred as an honor won after great victories in
battle, and which translates as "The Victor of God," or'Victorious
21
by the Grace of God." In such a case, perhaps Dryden, in chosing
the name, intended to emphasize the paradox of the hero who is
victorious in defeat. But before this paradox is possible, Almanzor
undergoes a learning process whereby he accepts an increasingly
complex world. The relationships which Almanzor accepts in the
process of conquest lead him from "I" to "we." He moves from
\ â– 
erratic actions and uncertain loyalties toward stability and con¬
stancy; he moves from a selfish, childlike natural state into the
complexities of human society, Almanzor's absurd claims and

9?
exaggerated postures of defiance are almost parodies of the heroic
ideal—independence of spirit, prowess in battle and dedication to
personal honor are all distorted to a degree that would place
Almanzor in the category of Homeric heroes which Dryden criticizes
in the essay prefixed to "Examen poeticum: Being the Third Part
of Miscellany Poems," There Dryden observes that Homer "can move
rage better than he can pity. He stirs up the irascible appetite,
as our philosophers call it, he provokes to murther, and the de¬
struction of God's images; he forms and equips those-ungodly nan-
killers whom we poets, when we flatter them, call heroes; a race
of men who can never enjoy quiet in themselves, till they have taken
22
it from all the world," By no stretch of the imagination can
Almanzor be considered an example of the pious hero (Aeneas) which
Dryden praises in "A Parallel Betwixt Painting and Poetry," but
he does move from his unstable position in Granada's chaotic affairs
to become the warrior "arm" to the new order established by Ferdinand
and Isabella, Dryden, being the experimenter he was in the heroic
genre, mast have felt that somewhere between the Homeric hero and
the Virgilian hero there was room for a "mixed" hero; a hero
23
possessed of "human passions and frailties," yet capable of em¬
bracing some of the virtues of an Aeneas and becoming a constructive
part of a worthy society, Dryden believed that a meaningful basis
for comparison between the epics of Homer and Virgil lay in the
fact that Homer depicted disorder, Virgil order; Homer depicted
the destruction of a kingdom, Virgil the establishment of a new
kingdom. In The Conquest of Granada, Dryden attempted to encompass

98
both destruction and the establishment of new order, and to create
a hero who moves from the chaotic individuality of "I alone am king
of me," to an acknowledgement and acceptance of the new kingdom
established by Ferdinand and Isabella,
In the course of Dryden's play, Almanzor» l) accepts the
demands of his love for Almahide, 2) acknowledges his duty to
his father, and 3) acknowledges the sovereignty of Ferdinand and
Isabella, Each step removes Almanzor further from the condition of
lonely arrogance and savage, irregular nobility described in
Abdalla's introduction of the hero to Granada's court;
Vast is his courage, boundless his mind,
Rough as a storm, and humorous as winds
Honour's the only idol of his eyes;
The charms of beauty like a pest he flies;
And, raised by valour from a birth unknown,
Acknowledges no power above his own,
(Part I, Act I, sc, i)
This description is no more a codification of Dryden's concept
of the heroic ideal than Almanzor is representative, at this point,
of the ideal hero.
Professor John Winterbottom was one of the first to
recognize the changes which Almanzor undergoes as a unifying device
in the two parts of The Conquest, Mr, Winterbottom maintained that
between the extremes of "excision" (Chapman) and "adulation"
(Marlowe) of the heroic nature, "Dryden takes the middle ground
between the two, recognizing both the potential value and the
positive threat of such a character, and recommends its absorption
24
into society through education," Further he feels that The Conquest

99
plays "assert that any individual, including the hero, must accept
such stringent disciplines as personal honor, formalized love, filial
duty, political allegiance, and the Christian religion before he
can be considered fit to take his place in society, , , What
Winterbottom does not discuss are the specific images and metaphors
in which the change is couched. Throughout the play the language
of conquest is employed, unifying the sweeping two-part dram,
and 3.inking the political process of conquest, which is directed
by Ferdinand and Isabella, with the process of change-observed in
the Ozryn and Benzayda plot and that observed in the character of
Almanzor.
There is much more to "conquest" in the two parts of
Dryden's conquest play than the military surrender of the Moorish
stronghold to the Christian forces. Each character within Granada
itself is concerned with and involved in some form of personal
straggle. The language of siege and conquest is employed in various
forms by all the important characters: Ozsyn and Benzayda "vanquish"
hatred and revenge with virtuous acts; Zulema, Abdalla and Lyndaraxa
desire to destroy and conquer those who stand in the way to power
and fulfillment of their selfish ends; Boabdelin sees Granada
besieged from without and is himself driven and besieged by the
presence of rebels in the city itself and by his own jealousy of
Almahide, Almanzor, an outsider, has been called upon to aid the
besieged city of Granada and finds himself involved in personal
conflict wherein his concepts of “love," "freedom" and ^sovereignty"
are challenged. Besieging, battle, ruin, and conquest are the

100
conditions of the landscape of Granada, and they form a natural source
of imagery when individual chararacters attempt to describe their
own particular conflicts.
Attempting to persuade Lyndaraxa to break her promises
to Abdelmelech, Abdalla compares her situation to that of a besieged
city?
When cities are besieged, and treat to yield,
If there appear relievers from the field,
The flag of parley may be taken down,
Till the success of those without is known, -
(Part I, Act II, sc, i)
Later, Lyndaraxa, captured by Abdelmelech who threatens to make
her a slave to Almahide as punishment for her betrayals, reveals
her strategy in the form of a simile: She shall be
like some falling tower,
Whose seeming firmness does the sight beguile,
So hold I up my nodding head a while,
Till they come under; and reserve my fall,
That with my ruins I may reach them all,
(Part II, Act IV, sc. iii)
Love itself is seen in terms of invasions, struggles for power,
retreats and strategic maneuvers, Abdelmelech captures the
Albayzyn, which was placed in Lyndaraxa’s hands by Abdalla, and
then finds that although he has conquered the walls of the for¬
tress, he, in turn, is conquered by Lyndaraxa:
Abdelmelech: You know too well my weakness and your power:
Why did Heaven make a fool a conqueror!
She was my slave, 'till she by me was shown
How weak my force was, and how strong her own.
Now she has beat my power from every part,
Made her way open to my naked heart: . . »
(Part II, Act II, sc, ii)

101
While these are but isolated instances of the use of the
metaphor of conquest, they serve to point out several of its salient
characteristics. First, man is often compared to a building or a
cityj more often than not, the city or edifice thus used is threatened
by conquest, destruction, or ruin. Secondly, conquest is often
presented as paradoxical: the conqueror becomes the conquered.
Thirdly, in most instances, the language of conquest is used to
describe the passions of love. Thus, the language of conquest serves
to draw together, through metaphor, the two spheres of conflict
with which The Conquest is concerned—political order and the
passions of individual men. The conquest of a kingdom becomes
parallel to the conquests of love; the analogy serves to point
out the similarity between the ideal Christian kingdom and ideal
heroic love, Dryden has employed this analogy elsewhere: in the
passage from the dedication to Annus Kirabilis, quoted at the beginning
of this chapter, Dryden compares the vicissitudes of Charles II and
England to two lovers who are united in spite of “long Exile,
various traverses of Fortune, and the interposition of many
Rivals, , . ."
Nowhere are the three characteristics of the language of
conquest better displayed than in the speeches of Almanzor and
Almahide, Almahide is the first to explicitly state the metaphor
which best describes the process which Almanzor must undergo in
order to be worthy of her love, Almanzor begins the metaphor,
with Almahide picking it up and expanding and shifting its meaning:
Almanzor: My joys, indeed, are dreams; but not my pain:

102
'Twas a swift ruin, but the marks remain.
When some fierce fire lays goodly buildings waste,
Would you conclude
There liad been none, because the burning's past?
Almahide. it was your fault that the fire seized all your breasts
You should have blown up some to save the rest:
But 'tis, at worst, but so consumed by fire,
As cities are, that by their falls rise higher.
Build love a nobler temple in my place;
You'll find the fire has but enlarged your space,
(Part I, Act V, sc. ii)
Almanzor's love is compared to a city or a building which must
undergo destruction and razing in order to make way for something
larger and nobler. In words which echo the process of destruction
in Annus Hirabilis, something must "fall" in order that a "nobler
frame" might rise, and "ruine must enlarge our way." Almahide
suggests that a new love grow in the place left by the first; she
attempts to emphasize the enobling power of love in contrast to
the fatal destruction which Almanzor has claimed for it. Love,
when distorted by deceit and self-interest, can be destructive as
in the instance of the love of Abdalla and Abdelmelech for Lyndaraxa,
Most of the distortion comes from Lyndaraxa, who uses the love of
the two rivals to further her own desires for the throne of Granada.
The "conquests” of this form of love result in political disorders
and death. In Aureng Zebe, for example, Nourmahal describes the
incestuous passion which has occupied her as "A bloody conquest;
which destruction brought,/And ruined all the Country where he
fought" (Aureng Zebe, Act III, sc. i), and ends in self-destruction.
Almahide, on the other hand, in emphasizing renewal after destruction,
or, more explicitly, renewal out of destruction, attributes Phoenix-

103
like powers to love. Obviously, the attitude toward love depends
upon the situation and character of the person making the utterance;
identical metaphors can be used to express antithetical concepts
of love.
While Almahide's argument is ineffectual in implementing
an immediate change in Almanzor's love for her, the speech itself
is suggestive of two important points about a concept of love as it
is exemplified in the changes later wrought in the character of
Almanzor. Her speech exhibits the basic characteristics of the
language of conquest: first, it calls attention to the use of
cities, edifices, and walls as metaphors for man; second, it
suggests the basically paradoxical nature of heroic love; if it
burns, it burns as the fire of London burned—to ennoble and
enlarge,
Almanzor cannot, at this point, accept Almahide's view
of love. His own use of the metaphor of conquest, throughout the
play, reflects his struggle to comprehend the process of change which
his love for Almahide is effecting. He is not always consistent
or completely perceptive in his apprehension of the process in which
he is involved, Almanzor's initial description of his love for
Almahide is predominantly in terms of conquest accompanied by a
sense of a loss of freedom:
I'm numbed, and fixed, and scarce my eyeballs move;
I fear it is the lethargy of lovej
'Tis he; I feel him now in every part;
Like a new lord he vaunts about my heart;
Surveys, in state, each corner of my breast,
While poor fierce I, that was, am dispossessed.
I'm bound; but I will rouse my rage again;

And, though no hops of liberty remain,
I'll fright my keener when I shake my chain,
(Part I, Act III, sc. i)
Almanzor's definition of freedom involves the concept of an
animal-like existence in which the individual is free to roam with
an unfettered will. Prior to meeting Almahide, his heart "fierce
and brave , , , lion-like, has been in deserts bred,/And, used to
range . . , (Part I, Act III, sc, i). In the same scene, Almanzor
admits that his is "an untaught first love," and that he is becoming
aware of another process in love's conquest:
There's something noble labouring in my breast:
This raging fire, which through the mass does move;
Shall purge my dross, and shall, refine my love,
(Part I, Act III, sc, i)
Almanzor, however, repeatedly resists attempts to place limitations
on or set boundaries to the freedom of his will. When the ghost
of his mother admonishes him against "known crimes of lawless love"
(Fart II, Act IV, sc, iii), Almanzor expresses his puzzlement over
the relationship between men's wills and C-od's "decree," ending
with a reckless declaration that he will not be a slave to "fate"—
here equated with the will of Godi
Almanzor; 0 Heaven, how dark a riddle's thy decree,
Which bounds our wills, yet seems to leave them freei
Since thy foreknowledge cannot be in vain,
Our choice must be what thou didst first ordain.
Thus, like a captive in an isle confined,
Wills all his crimes, while Heaven the indictment draws,
And, pleading guilty, justifies the laws.
Let fate be fate; the lover and the brave
Are ranked, at least, above the vulgar slave.
Love makes me willing to ny death to run;
And courage scorns the death it cannot shun,
(Part II, Act IV, sc. iii)

105
In spite of his bravs words, Almansor finds that he is resisted by
Almahide herself who praises honour as "the conscience of an act
well done,/Which gives us power our own desires to shun;/The strong
and secret curb of headlong will} , , (Part II, Act IV, sc. iii).
Everywhere he turns', Almanzor finds his will circumscribed by his
love for Almahide—love, not "Heaven" or "fate" first deprives
Almanzor of his "lawless liberty."
During the course of his love for Almahide, Almanzor
also discovers that military conquest, which, as Almahide points
out, seems to "attend" him everywhere, is not necessarily accompanied
by victory in love. After one such military victory, Almanzor nobly
frees Almahide and responds to her praise of his valour and virtue
with "Madam, you praise a funeral victory,/At whose sad pomp the
conqueror must die" (Part I, Act IV, sc. ii). Almansor vanquishes
one foe after another, but his conquests bring him no closer to
possessing Almahide. In Part II, he discovers that, paradoxically,
the more victories he wins for Boabdelin at Almahide*s request, the
further he places himself from winning her. Each victory won for
Boabdelin is a sacrifice for Almanzor, and in each instance it is
Almahide who demands the sacrifice after setting an example of
virtuous loyalty to her jealous husband. Reproached by Almahide
for revengefully refusing Boabdelin the aid he had vowed to supply,
Almanzor checks his anger:
Of, I have erred} but fury made me blind}
And, in her just reproach, my fault I find I
I promised even for him to fight, whom I -
But since he's loved by her, he must not die.

106
Thus, happy fortune comes to me in vain,
When I myself must ruin it again.
(Part II, Act III, sc. i)
Almahide is able to command Almanzor's strength in a cause that
obviously runs counter to his own interests.
Being the passionate creature that he is, Almanzor is
unable to remain upon the path of "regular" virtue for long.
Although he tells the Dulce or Arcos that his love is such that he
can now fight without hope for "advantage" and "return" (Part II,
Act III, sc. iii), the hero is soon involved in a passionate debate
with his mistress in which she maintains that "purest love can live
without reward," while he argues, "Pure love had need to be to
itself a feasts/For, like pure elements, 'twill nourish least. . . ,/
Will you not think I merit some reward,/When I my love above my
life regard?" (Part II, Act IV, sc, iii). Almanzor's desires,
once again, take precedence over concepts of duty which Almahide
tries to urge upon him. Neither participant "wins" the argument}
Almahide rather unfairly resorts to non-rhetorical means to suspend
the debate when she threatens to stab herself, forcing Almanzor
to abandon his suit for the moment. In his own words, Almanzor
is "but half converted yet,"
The final lesson which Almanzor takes from Almahide im¬
mediately precedes the scene in which he submits to his father and
recognizes the sovereignty of Ferdinand and Isabella. Boabdelin,
discovering what appears to be a betrayal, orders that both
Almahide and Almanzor be killed, but an attack by the Christian
forces interrupts the execution of his order, Almahide again

107
urges Almanzor to defend Boabdelin, to "be a god again," and "above
our crimes and your own passions reign." She herself forgives
Boabdelin "though my death he sought." Almanzor follows her
example:
Listen, sweet heaven, and all ye blessed above,
Take rules of virtue from a mortal love,'
You've raised my soul; and if it mount more high,
'Tis as the wren did on the eagle fly.
Yes, I once more will my revenge neglect,
And whom you can forgive, I can protect.
(Part II, Act V, sc. ii)
There is no mention of conquest, but as in the former instance,
Almanzor knows that by protecting Boabdelin, he "ruins" his
own happiness, If he conquers the Christian forces there is no
promise of personal reward, no guarantee that he will win Almahidej
he is simply following the "rules of virtue" derived from a "mortal
love," At this point it is Almahide who sets the high mark of
heroic action and sacrifice.
The sword, an extension of Almanzor*s puissance, becomes
indicative of the process of change which the hero undergoes.
Almanzor is first known by the power of his sword when he meets
the fiercest bull in the games taking place within Granada and
severs its neck with a single blow (Part I, Act I, sc. i). The
sword which so readily conquers man and beast, describes the limits
of the space within which Almanzor reigns supreme. In his first
appearance of stage, Almanzor thus challenges the Zegrys to cross
the line drawn by his sword: "Upon thy life pass not this middle
space}/Sure death stands guarding the forbidden place" (Part I,

108
Act I, sc. i), For Almanzor, war is a "noble sport" wherein his
sword controls the fates of multitudes. He even boasts that Almahide
has been won "With my sword," but discovers that love is much too
complicated to be dealt with so simply. Almanzor is much more at
ease where decisions are to be made on the basis of prowess in
battle, where "Success shall now by force and courage go" (Part II,
Act IV, sc, ii). Each time Almanzor attempts to draw Almahide
within the exclusive boundaries set by his sword, she steps outside
and requires that he extend his aid to those to whom- she is bound
by strict concepts of duty. In one such scene, the Spanish attack
Granada, and Almanzor, angry with Boabdelin, refuses to fight
for him:
Almanzor. I wonnot lift an arm in his defence:
And yet I wonnot stir one foot from hence,
I to your king's defence his town resign;
This only spot, whereon I stand, is mine. -
Madam, be safe, and lay aside your fear, £To the Queen
You are as in a magic circle here.
(Part II, Act III, sc. i).
Refusing to remain within Almanzor's circle, Almahide admonishes
her lover and forces him to admit his error.
In the very next scene Almanzor is described as he
takes the final step in his transformation and submits to the
"sacred" voice of the ghost of his mother, throwing from him the
implement of his conquering power, his sword, as he kneels before
his father. It is but a short space of time from the moment Almanzor
selflessly employs his sword on Boabdelin's behalf at Almahide's
request to the moment when he puts aside his sword in obedience

109
to a "sacred" voice, Gradually and almost impereeptively, the
theme of military conquest has been subverted to the ideals of
love, sacrifice, forgiveness, filial duty, and mercy—they con¬
stitute true "conquest,"
Almanzor*s transformation by no means indicates that the
sword is to be melted into a plowshare; the hero retains both his
pride and his sword, but the pride has been modified and the sword
is now dedicated to the service of the new Spanish kingdom,
Almanzor's speech of acknowledgement to Ferdinand is, that of one
who is well aware of his own worth. For Almanzor, kingliness is
a quality of spirit more than it is a matter of birth or political
position, and Almanzcr may give homage to Ferdinand because the
king possesses the same qualities that the hero himself possesses;
I bring a heart which homage never knew;
Yet it finds something of itself in you;
Something so kingly, that my haughty mind
Is drawn to yours, because 'tis of a kind,
(Part II, Act V, sc, ii)
In the closing speech of the play, Almanzor resumes his role as
warrior, but with a significant difference. His earlier speeches
resounded with the sound of the pronoun "I"; In Act II of Part I,
he thinks of the Christian forces as a personal challenge. Al¬
though he is fighting for Granada, he speaks to the Duke of Arcos
as if he alone were meeting the entire Christian arnys
It pleases me your army is so great;
For now I know there's more to conquer yet.
By heaven, I'll see what troops you have behind;
I'll face this storm, that thickens in the wind;
And, with bent forehead, full against it go,

no
Tin I have found the last and utmost foe.
(Part I, Act II, sc. ii)
At the close of the two-part play, Almansor is preparing to meet
another foe; he is embarking on an expedition to "subdue" the
remaining Moors, but it is as representative of the Spanish kingdom
which has sealed his loyalty through his love for Almahide, his
duty to a father, and his birth as a Christian. It is now "our"
conquest*
Our banners to the Alhambra's turrets bear;
Then wave our conquering crosses in the air,
And cry, with shouts of triumph, - live and reign,
Great Ferdinand and Isabel of SpainJ
(Part IÍ, Act V, sc. ii)

NOTES
1
"Virgil's Aeneis," Poems, Vol. III, Book I, 1, 284,
2
Alan Roper, Dryden's Poetic Kingdoms (London, 1965),
pp, 50-103.
All the following quotations from Dryden's poetry will
be taken from The Poems of John Dryden, edited by James Kinsley
(Oxford, 1953); hereafter cited as Poems,
4
Works, Vol. XIII, p. 226, ft.
5
The Works of John Dryden, eds, Edward Niles Hooker and
H, T, Swedenborg (Los" Angeles, 1956), Vol. I (Poems 1649-1680),
Commentary, p, 219,
6
Ibid., p. 224.
7
Ibid., p, 306.
8
Revelations, 21s 10-21.
9
"Virgil's Aeneis," Poems, Book I, 11. 350-407.
10
Ovid's Metamorphoses, Translated into English verse under
the direction of Sir Samuel Garth ... (New York, 1961), Book 15,
pp. 519-520.
11
Edward Stillingfleet, "A Sermon Preached on the Fast-
Day November 13.1678. . ." (London, 1678), pp. 13-14.
12
William Strong, "XXXI Sermons, Preached on Special
111.

112
Occasions, , ," (London, 1656), p, 658,
13
George Hakewill, "An Apo3.ogie of the Power and Providence
of God in the Government of the World, , ," (Oxford, 1627), Preface,
14.
Ibid. Th8 quotation which Hakewill uses is from Guillaume
de Salluste Du Sartas, Du Sartas His Divine Weekes, and Workes , , ¿
Translated and bitten by the famous Philoausus, Josuah Sylvester , , ,
(London, ÍÓ33T, P« 128.
15
Ibid., Chapter II, sec, 2, p. 14,
16
St, Augustine, The City of God, trans, by Demetrius 3,
Zerna, S, J, and Gerald G, Walsh, S, J, (New York, 1950), Book V,
Chapter II, pp, 265-266,
17
Ibid., Book XI, Chapter 18, pp, 213-214,
18
"Of Heroic Plays," Works, Vol. IV, p, 28,
19
Dryden employs the phrase again in his translation of
the Aeneid. Aeneas, speaking to his shipwrecked companions, reminds
them that Jove has promised that they shall be the founders of a
new Troy,- and that they shall look back on the misfortunes of this
storm and shipwreck as "Benefits of Fate" once the whole design
becomes apparent to them. Fate seems to be defined in this context
as the word of Jov9 ("Virgil's Aeneis," Poems, Vol. Ill, 11, 277-
278, 232-86):
Aeneas, , . . Jove will soon dispose
To future Good, our past and present Woes,
Resume your Courage, and dismiss your Care,
An Hour will come, with Pleasure to relate
Your Sorrows past, as Benefits of Fate,
Through various Hazards and Events we move
To Latium, and the Realms fordoom'd by Jove.
20
"Of Heroic Plays," Works, Vol. IV, ,p. 29.
21
Ulick Ralph Burke, A History of Spain (London, 1895)»
Vol. I, p. 159.

113
22
John Dryden, "Examen poeticum: Being the Third Part of
Miscellany Poems," Dryden, ed, George Watson (London, 1962),
Vol. II, p. 167.
23
"Of Heroic Plays," Works, Vol. IV, p, 27.
2k
John Winterbottom, "The Development of the Hero in
Dryden's Tragedies," JEGP, HI (1953). 169.
25
Ibid., 171-172.
26
Washington Irving, in his Chronicle of the Conquest of
Granada (New York, 185^), quotes an "old Castilian proverb" on the
subject of civil war: "El vencide vencide, y el vencidor perdido"
(The conquered conquered, and the conqueror undone).

CONCLUSION
The Conquest of Granada, although it relies heavily upon
images and metaphors of conquest, is not primarily a play of negation
and destruction. The elements of disorder, extreme self-interest
and irregular, disproportionate passions are self-destructive, but
opposed to them is the ordering and unifying influence of love and
mercy. This opposition seems strange, perhaps, in light of the fact
that Dryden has variously been described as writing heroic plays
whose central conflicts are love vs, honor and duty, or passion vs,
reason, or platonic vs, sensual love. It is not difficult to skip
through Dryden*s drama and find speeches and lines praising the
virtues of or deploring the evils of love (platonic or sensual),
passion, honor, duty and reason, On the basis of isolated debates,
it has been decided that Dryden advocates following the dictates
of love over those of filial duty; favors duty over love; argues
that reason must always have sway over passion, and, conversely,
that passion should triumph over cold reason; favors the platonic
lover above the lusty lover, and then champions the sensual,
hedonistic lover over the platonic,^" The Conquest of C-ranada
has supplied its share of evidence for every side of each argument,
but in most instances the evidence has been quoted out of context,
regardless of the qualities or of the temporary state of mind of
the speaker,' Kings, Queens, villains, tormented lovers, distraught *
114

115
women, rebels and heroes are all indiscriminately cited as keys to
Dryden's thought. Each of the conflicts mentioned is present in
The Conquest! Ozmyn and Benzayda are caught between their love
for one another and a sense of filial loyalty; Abdalla and Zulema
and then Abdalla and Abdelmelech engage in debates over reason and
passion; Almanzor and Almahide debate the virtues of platonic and
sensual love. In only one case can an argument be said to be
settled in favor of one element or another: Abdalla is momentarily
tom between his passion for Lyndaraxa and what he feels are its
alternatives—honour, virtue and reason. Zulema convinces him that
he should follow the dictates of his passion. Not even here, how¬
ever, is there sufficient evidence to conclude that Dryden intended
that all passion be viewed as inimical to honor, virtue and reason.
The dichotomies here are to be seen in terms of character, not in
terms of absolute dogmatic opposition. Abdalla's passion for
Lyndaraxa is of a particular nature, a nature largely determined
by what Lyndaraxa is as an object of passion. Lyndaraxa demands
absolute subjection from her lovers; they must be willing to
overlook her vices, and must lend themselves as tools to achieve
the absolute power which she desires above all else, Lyndaraxa
demands a choice be made between virtue (here defined as political
loyalty) and passion, which, in this case, must lead to rebellion
against brother and king. Abdalla's choice leads to his death at
the hands of Abdelmelech. Lyndaraxa inspires destructive passion,
passion which leads to rebellion and death.
Almahide, on the other hand, inspires a different kind

116
of passion in Almanzor, While Almanzor's passion is sensual and
sometimes disorderly in its nature, it leads him to concepts of
honor and loyalty which he had not possessed as a "noble savage,"
Eis love for Almahide prepares him for the final conquest, It
would, therefore, be difficult to maintain that in this particular
play Dryden. has condemned all passion as being destructive of order
or as the eneny of virtue.
There is even less evidence of a clear-cut either/or
decision in the debate over sensual vs, platonic love,' Almnzor's
passion for Almahide reflects his heroic character—he is rash,
disorderly at times, and, initially, subject to no moral system
or order, Almahide, on the other hand, has an almost punctilious
sense of duty to father, husband and king, Almahide's arguments
for a platonic relationship arise out of the fact that, with her
sense of duty and virtue, no other relationship with Almanzor is
possible. She is not presenting an ideal for all love, but is
offering Almanzor an alternative to an illicit relationship, which
she will not accept, or complete absence from one another, Almahide
does love Almanzor and this love has changed her as it will change
Almanzor. Almanzor's passion has swept her from a placid, passive
existence into the "hurricane" of life:
Almahide. How blessed was I before this fatal day,
When all I knew of love, was to obey,'
'Twas life becalmed, without a gentle breath?
Though not so cold, yet motionless as death,
A heavy quiet state; but love, all strife,
All rapid, is the hurricane of life.
Had love now shown me, I had never seen
An excellence beyond Boabdelin,
I had not, aiming higher, lost ny rest?

117
But with a vulgar good been dully blest: . . .
(Part I, Act V, se* ii)
There is no question of preferring a platonic relationship over
physical gratification—duty prevents Almahide from having a
choice. As has been previously pointed out, the debate between
Almanzor and Almahide has no logical conclusion} rhetoric gives
way to passionate action. In reply to Almanzor's "love's the best
return for flesh and blood," Almahide replies,
'l
You've moved iry heart so much, I can deny
No more: but know, Almanzor, I can die.
Tims far my virtue yields} if I have shown
More love than what I ought, let this atone,
and offers to stab herself, leaving Almanzor no alternative but to
momentarily abandon his suit. In his own words, he is "but half
converted yet." It would seem that it is not Almahide's arguments
for platonic love that have "half converted" Almanzor, but her
passionate devotion to virtue and duty. Boabdelin's death and
Queen Isabella intervene to produce an ideal resolution: Almahide
is allowed a year of mourning in deference to her sense of duty,
and Almanzor is to have the fulfillment of his desires at the end
of that year, Isabella denies neither duty nor passion.
There is a strange consistency in the resolution of the
conflicts in The Conquest of Granada—none are resolved by reason.
One need only list the acts or figures which intervene to suspend
or resolve the verbal and physical conflicts of the play to become
aware of the conspicuous absence of anything that could be called
"Reason": Almahide's passionate threat of suicide ends her debate

118
with AImanzor; Benzayda and Ozuyn's virtuous actions win both fathers
and resolve the conflict between love and filial duty; the ghost
of Almanzcr’s mother reveals the identity of his father, leading
to the hero's willing surrender to the Christian forces and the
consequent surrender of all Granada, Reason is conspicuous in its
absence as the faculty of man which achieves order and balance.
It would seem that the force of self-will is that power which
drives men into rebellion and self-destruction, while those who
are included in the new order and receive mercy are drawn there by
the transforming power of love. The distinction made by Mr, Roper,
in his book Dryden's Poetic Kingdom, between the kingdom of love
and a king's empire, does not hold true for The Conquest of Granada,
Mr, Roper feels that, as far as Dryden’s heroic drama is concerned,
2
there is "constant warfare between love's empire and the king's,"
The evidence from The Conquest seems to point to the contrary.
Although Abdalla's inordinate passion for Lyndaraxa leads to
rebellion, heroic love, as defined by Isabella, is perfectly
consonant with the Spanish empire. It is, in fact, the basis for
the political unity of Christian Spain, and becomes the basis for
a new Granada under the Christian rulers.
To make Dryden the proponent of a dogmatic system in which
reason, or duty, or passion is the ultimate ideal, is to ignore
the complexity of The Conquest of Granada. In this play, love
and mercy resolve the conflicts which initiate most of the action
of the play. I do not maintain that the same pattern of conflict
and resolution will be found in all of Dryden's heroic plays. It

119
would appear that the pattern of history and individual conduct
presented in The Conquest is-not that of the earlier Indian Queen,
nor is it precisely that of the later Don Sebastian, The tendency
to find consistent patterns of thought which will serve as critical
"blankets" to cover all of Dryden's drama does an injustice to
individual plays, not to mention the injustice it does to the
highly complex mind of Joto Dryden.

NOTES
1
Bonamy Dobree, in Restoration Tragedy I660-1?20 (Oxford,
1963)» felt that in Dryden's heroic draaa love took precedence
over all other virtues; Kathleen Lynch ("Conventions of Platonic
Drama in the Heroic Plays of Orrery and Dryden," FRIA (1929),
XLIV, 456-71) finds elements of the platonic tradition in Dryden,
but admits that his heroines are better platordsts than his
heroes and even they make concessions "which will not. bear the
closest Platonic scrutiny" (p, 470); Scott Osborn ("Heroica! Love
in Dryden's Heroic Drama," PMA (1958), LXX1II, 430-90) finds that
"In Dryden's heroic plays, reason and its concomitants—virtue,
duty, honor, peace and order—must eventually be reasserted. » . ,
No erotic passion ever succeeds in Dryden's heroic plays, no love
succeeds which at the end remains in conflict with reason, , ."
(p, 439)i while Thomas H, Fujimura ("The Appeal of Dryden's Heroic
Plays," PMLA (i960), LXXV, 37-45) has maintained that love and
honor in Dryden's heroic plays "represent neither a spiritual nor
a moral ideal but rather a passional commitment to sex and
self-aggrandizement" (p. 40),
2
Roper, op, cit,, p. 22.
120

LIST OF WORKS CITED
Anonymous, The Censure of the Rota, On Mr. Driden's Conquest
of Granada, Oxford, 1073,
Augustine, Saint, The City of God, Trans, Demetrius B, Zema,
S, J, and Gerald G, Walsh, S, J, New York, 1950,
Bartholomew, Barbara, Fortuna and Natura.s A Reading; of Three
Chaucer Narratives. London, 1906,
Burke, Ulick Ralph, A History of Spain from the Earliest Times
to the Death of Ferdinand the Catholic, London, 1895*
Canter, H, V, "'Fortuna' in Latin Poetry," SP, XIX (Jan, 1922),
64-82,
Chapman, George. The Poems of George Chapman, Ed. Phillis Brooks
Bartlett, New York, 1962,
Critical Essays of the l?th Century. Ed, Joel Elias Spingarn.
Oxford, 1908,
Dobree, Bonamy. Restoration Tragedy 1660-1720. Oxford, 1963,
Dryden, John. The Complete Works of John Dryden. Ed, Sir Walter
Scott, revised and corrected by George Saintsbury,
London, 1882,
. Drydeni Of Dramatic Poesy and Other Critical Essays.
Ed, George Watson. London, 1962,
, Drydeni The Dramatic Works. Ed, Montague Summers,
London, 1932.
, The Poems of John Dryden. Ed. James Kinsley. Oxford,
1958.
. The Works of John Dryden. Eds. Edward Niles Hooker
and H, T, Swedenberg, Los Angeles, 1956.
Du Bartas, Guillaume de Salluste, Du Bartas His Divine Weekes,
and Works , , . Translated and written by the famous
Philomusus, Josuah Sylvester. , . London, 1633»
121

122
Hakewill, George, "An Apologie of the Power and Providence of God
in the Government of the World, or An Examination and
Censure of the Common Errour Touching Natuers Perpetuall
and Universal Decay, . . Oxford, 162?,
Hartsock, Mildred E, "Dryden's Plays; A Study in Ideas," Seventeenth
Century Studies, 2nd ser, Ed, Robert Shafer, Princeton,
193?.
Hobbes, Thomas, The English Works, Ed, Sir William Kolesworth,
London, 1839-1845,
Hoffman, Arthur C, John Dryden*s Imagery, Gainesville, Fla,, 1962,
Horatius Flaccus, Quintus. The Odes and Epodes. Trans, C, E,
Bennett, Cambridge, Mass,, I960,
Irving, Washington, Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada. New
York, 1854,
Juvenalis, Décimas Junius, Thirteen Satires of Juvenal. Ed,
John E, B, Mayor, London, 1893.
Kirsch, Arthur C. Dryden*s Heroic Drama. Princeton, 1914.
La Calprenede,. Gaultier de Coste, Hymen's Praeludia: or, Love’s
Masterpiece . , • now Elegantly rendered into English by
Robert Loveday, London, 1687,
Lord, George de Forest, Homeric Renaissance: The Odyssey of
George Chapman, New York", 'Í95&*
Mariana, Juan de. The General History of Stain, London, 1699*
Mayerne, Louis Turquet de. The General Historie of Stain , . ,
Translated into English, ... by Edward Grimeston,
Esquire, London, 1612,
Ovidius Naso, Publius. Ovid's Metamorphoses: in fifteen books,
Translated into English verse under the direction of Sir
Samuel Garth by John Dryden and others. New York, 1961.
, Ovid, With an English Translation. Ed. Arthur
Leslie Wheeler, London; New York, 1939,
Patch, Howard Rollin. "The Tradition of the Goddess Fortuna in
Roman Literature and in the Transitional Period."
Smith College Studies in Modern Languages. Vol, III,
Northampton, Mass,, Oct, 1921-July 1922,
Rapin, René, The Whole Critical Works of Monsieur Raoin • , .
translated into English by B, Kennet. London, 1716,

123
Roper, Alan, Dryden*s Poetic Kingdoms, London, 1965,
Scudery, Georges de, Almahide, or the Captive Queen. . , , Done
into English by J, Phillips Gent, . • .London, 167?.
Stillingfleet, Edward, "A Sermon Preached on the Fast-Day Nov¬
ember 13.1678, At St Margarets Westminster, Before the
Honourable House of Commons," London, 1678.
Strong, William, '‘XXXI Sermons, Preached on Special Occasions} , , «"
London, 1656,
Tasso, Torquato, Jerusalem Delivered, The Edward Fairfax translation
newly introduced by Robert Weiss, Carbondale, Ill,, 1962,
Teeter, Louis, "The Dramatic Use of Hobbes' Political Ideas,"
ELH, III (1936), 140-169.
Winterbottom, John. "The Development of the Hero in Dryden's
Tragedies," JEGP, LII (1953), 161-173.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Gail Howard Compton was born August 21, 1937* at Tampa,
Florida, In June, 1956, she graduated from William R, Boone
High School, Orlando, Florida, She received the degree of
Bachelor of Arts with a major in Arts and Letters from Stetson
University in June, i960. In 1961 she enrolled in the Graduate
School of the University of Florida. She worked as a teaching
assistant in the Department of English until June, 1963, and as
research assistant until June, 1967. From September, 1967, to
the present time, she has been employed on the faculty of the
University of Tennessee,

This dissertation was prepared under the direction of
the chairman of the candidate's supervisory committee and has been
approved by all members of that committee. It was submitted to the
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council,
and was approved as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy ,
August, 1963
Dean, Coll
Dean, Graduate School
Supervisory Committee:
c
Chairman
S. d •