Death And The King's Horseman Analysis

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National Identity as a Postcolonial Theme in Wole Soyinka 's Death and the King 's Horseman

Mona A. M. Ahamed

The purpose of the present paper is to investigate Wole Soyinka 's attempt to establish an identity for his postcolonial Nigeria as explored in his play Death and the King 's Horseman. In fact, on studying this play, most of the researchers have focused on hybridity or the hybrid protagonist, mimicry or the mimic man as well as the structure of the play. Bernard Ayo Oniwe, for instance, has examined the hybrid protagonist in the play (1992). Olakunle George has focused on mimicry or the mimic man (1999). Craig McLuckie has discussed the structural coherence of the play (2004). However, national identity which is going to be examined in this study has been ignored. This paper deals with the endeavour of Soyinka as a postcolonial writer to emphasize the importance of reconstructing the history of his nation which has been savagely distorted by the colonizers. Soyinka investigates the past of his country in order to probe the customs, mores and myths adopted by his people. The play under study exhibits the traditions embraced by the Nigerians as a means of constituting their national identity. After years of cultural colonialism and controlling people 's thoughts and minds by the colonizers, postcolonial writers have struggled to achieve their cultural independence and
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