Synopses & Reviews
Aureng-Zebe was John Dryden's last rhymed play and it is frequently considered his best. In this tragedy, produced in 1675, published in 1676, the plot is loosely based on a contemporary account of the struggle between the four sons of Shah Jahan, the fifth Mogul emperor, for the succession to the throne. The hero is a figure of exemplary rationality, virtue, and patience whose stepmother lusts after him and whose father pursues the woman with whom Aureng-Zebe is himself in love. Dryden evinces a deeply disturbing awareness of the anarchy and impotence which threaten every aspect of human life, emotional, moral, and political.