Tragedy in African Theatre

Shola Balogun


 Tragedy in African theatre re-presents a significant study into the intricacies of indigenous value system,communal codes of conduct,prevailing spiritual visions,and their expressions on the nature of death of the tragic figures in the works of African playwrights.  This study,however,is to identify the interpretation of what constitutes tragedy in African convention,its centreplace and its seeming"surprising profanities"as exemplified in Wole Soyinka's Death and The king's Horseman.    The traditional Africa is undoubtedly communal. The passivity and conformity of the African under a compelling authority can be explained in accordance with his affirmation of self-will and perception of collective spirit. His penchant for honour is far more intricate and demonstrably cultural. John Iliffe observes that, in respect of these attractive features, one cannot neglect the place of honour among the most glaring enigmas in African thoughts:

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