Portrayal of the Yoruba Metaphysical world in Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman and ,The strong breed
Miti, Ann Kula
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This study is an investigation of how the Yoruba metaphysical world has been portrayed in Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman and The Strong Breed. It involves an examination of which of the Yoruba myths, how and why they have been incorporated in the two texts. The central position given to the Yoruba myths and rituals issues from the view that these myths and rituals are media through which a people's conception of the universe (metaphysics) is revealed. The study set out to achieve its objectives through utilisation of three theoretical approaches: Sociological Theory, Myth Criticism and Stylistics. The sociological theory looks at the two plays and their author as products of a society. The same theoretical position also view literature as a means through which society can learn from its past and present, and get direction into the future. Myth criticism aids the study by analysing the myths and rituals while stylistics handles the dramatic techniques employed in the plays. The study makes use of library and Internet research. It employs extensive reading of secondary texts to aid in the understanding and analysis of the primary texts. The content analysis of the plays involves close textual analysis which links details of style and characterisation to the metaphysical theme. The conclusion of the study is that Soyinka uses myths and rituals as raw material for his creative work. Soyinka however does not bow fully to the prescriptions of his people's myths and rituals. He introduces a new dimension to the people's social order. At the end of the plays, he has replaced the old order of subjection of the individual's will to societal prescriptions, with individual choice and freedom. This act indicates a clear reading of the times; the modern era whose hallmarks include insistence on freedom for the individual.