The tragic drama of Nigeria's leading playwright, Wole Soyinka, is the focus of this in-depth study. Ketu H. Katrak explores Soyinka's concept of the tragic experience as it relates to Yoruba culture and analyzes the unique features of his theory of tragedy which blends Yoruba traditional drama with Western tragic forms. Opening with a biographical overview of Soyinka's life and career, Katrak addresses the major issues presented by Soyinka in his essay on tragedy, The Fourth Stage. These include the origin of tragic feeling, the components of the tragic experience, and the concretization of these abstract tions in the Yoruba god Ogun. The author demonstrates that it is through these themes and the elements of ritual and myth that Soyinka imparts communal values to his work, ultimately achieving a metaphysical level of expression. Katrak also discusses the element of the death of the protagonist in a number of Soyinka's plays and how it is beneficial for the community. The history of a community, a nation, and mankind, as it appears in other Soyinka plays, is also discussed. Throughout the work, the study of Soyinka's drama is balanced with an analysis of dramatic structure and stagecraft. Included are interviews and discussions with many of Nigeria's academicians, as well as with Soyinka himself.
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Ketu H. Katrak
Date of Publication
Encyclopedias & General Reference
Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies: Contemporary Black Poets