The Impact of Resistance on Religion and Politics in the Play Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka

Basim Khudhair Sabr, Lajiman Janoory

Abstract


The present paper examines the political, social and religious sectors that have resulted in a rupture in dramatization. It further elaborates the idea of political and religious resistance in the selected play of death and horseman by Wole Soyinka (1975). So, the tyranny of history and cruelty of colonial powers have made a sharp impact on the thought of colonized. Thus, Africa has been subjected to various forms of naked slavery, exploitation, colonialism and neo-colonialism since the last four hundred years. African world has had an obvious historical and cultural experience in the language and religion which have become significant components of one’s cultural identity. As a result, African history, culture and politics cannot only be deeply rooted but also continues in the African consciousness even after independence. Post independence scenario is not absolutely free from the reflection of colonial era. Here, Soyinka highlights the issues of the fundamental forces of African politics, betrayal, victimization and resistance in his chosen play. Thus the portrayal of African resistance in the context of the present study needs to be placed in a wider perspective and larger implication because the strategy of colonization and subjugation is not one-dimensional. For him, it is an impossible to conceive his work outside Yoruban beliefs and systems of thoughts based on dimensions of human existence. This study further discovers forms of drama that developed in pre-colonial African societies and incorporating them in Soyinka’s play, especially the emphasis on the Yoruban cosmos, the ritual closure. The playwright sheds light on human understanding of cultural and religious relations that are possible for promoting a co-existence of different cultures. The use of the Yoruba mythical tradition for personal gain, it is an attempt to resuscitate the best of the culture of the Yoruba people and redeem their vanishing value systems in an era of globalization. In addition, the study shows the prospect of co-existence of the best of old order, new order and how the playwright focuses on human understanding of cultural and religious relations. The study concludes that an acknowledgement and respect for other people’s religion and ways of life will reduce conflicts and, therefore, promote co-existence of different cultures.

Keywords


Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka, Yoruban Religious Beliefs, Political and Religious Resistance

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adedeji, J. (1996). The Alarinjo Theatre: The Study of a Yoruba Theatrical Art from its Earliest Beginnings to the Present Time. Ibadan: Browns.

Adegbite, A. (1988). The Drum and Its Role in Yoruba Religion. Journal of Religion in Africa, 18, Pp 15-26.

Adejumo, A. (2010). A Postcolonial analysis of the literary and cultural consequences of the abolition of the 18th century transatlantic slave trade on the Yoruba of south western Nigeria. LUMINA, 21, pp. 257-274.

Agbeniga, O. (2012). Ritual Cosmos: The Sanctification of Life in African Religions. Athens: Ohio University Press.

Agbor, I. (2008). The Will to Power: A Study of Soyinka’s Plays. Ibadan: Browns.

Akinbileje, T. (2010). Proverbial Illustration of Yoruba Traditional Clothings: A SocioCultural Analysis. The African Symposium: An Online Journal of the African Educational Research Network, 10(2), pp. 46-59 (Retrieved 5th February, 2014).

Alana, O. (2004). Traditional Religion in Lawal, N., Sadiku M., and Dopamu, A. (Editors) Understanding Yoruba Life and Culture. Trenton, NJ: African World Press.

Bhatt, A. (2012). What is the importance of religion? Available from http://www.preservearticles.com/importance-of-religion.html.

Diyaolu. I. (2010). Roles of Dress in Socio-cultural Events Among the Ijebu- Yoruba, Ogun State, Nigeria. Ibadan: Browns.

Euba, A. (1990). Yoruba Drumming: The Yoruba Dundun Tradition. Bayreuth: Bayreuth African Studies.

Frazer, James. (1993) The Golden Bough: A Study of Magic and Religion. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Limited,.67 Print.

Genesis. (1999). The Holy Bible. King James Version. New York: American Bible society.

Hepburn, J. (1998). Mediators of Ritual Closure. Black American Literature Forum. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2904316.

Idowu, E. (1973). African traditional religion: A definition. London: SCM Press.

Idowu, W. (2005). Law, Morality and the African Cultural Heritage: The Jurisprudential Significance of the Ogboni Institution. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 14(2), pp. 175-192.

James, O. (2002). Eunuchs of Will: Power and Power Mongers in Wole Soyinka’s The Road and Death and the King’s Horseman.” Ibadan: University Press.

Katrak, K. (1986). Wole Soyinka and Modern Tragedy: A Study of Dramatic Theory and Practice. London: Greenwood Press.

Laoye, O. (1990). Yoruba Drums Odu. A Journal of Yoruba and Related Studies, 8, Ibadan: Publication Section, Ministry of Education.

Malinowski, S. (1991). Cited in Enahoro, E. O. Culture and Management in Nigeria. Lagos: NCAC.

Ogunade, R. (2010). Yoruba religious worship in modern context. In IFE: the Institute of Cultural Studies (special edition). Obafemi Awolowo University, Institute of Cultural Studies.

Omobola, O. (2014). Influence of Yoruba Culture in Christian Religious Worship. International Journal of Social Science and Education, 4, pp. 584-595.

Opoku, K. (1978). West African Traditional Religion. Lagos: F.E. P.

Oyebade, A. (2001). The Appropriation of Traditional Musical Practices in Modern Yoruba Drama: A Case Study of Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman. Faculty of Arts: English Department. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife.

Oyetade, A. (2004). The Enemy in the Belief System. p. 81-95.

Payne, L. (1965). Critical Theory Today. New York: Garland Publishing.

Sheba, R. (2000). The African Imagination: Literature in Africa & the Black Diaspora. New York: Oxford.

Singh, R. (2013). Things Fall Apart as a Postcolonial Text- An Assertion of African Culture. Language in India, 13, pp. 257- 270.

Smith, A. & Eicher, E. (1982). A culture of corruption: everyday deception and popular discontent in Nigeria. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Stratton, F. 1988. Wole Soyinka: AWriter’s Social Vision. In Black American Literature Forum(Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 531-553). St. Louis University.

Soyinka, W. 1987). “Post Mortem for a “Death and the King’s Horseman” .Art, Dialogue and Outrage. Essays on Literature and Culture. Ibadan; New Horn Press.

Ystranger, O. (2011). Wole Soyinka: An Anthology of Recent Criticism. Delhi: Pencraft International Print.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.