Yoruba Festival and the Dramatist: Satire as Spine in Soyinka’s A Dance of the Forests


In most African societies, festivals play especially important roles linked to the survival of the society. This paper investigates the festival motif in Wole Soyinka’s A Dance of the Forests with the purpose of illuminating further his exploration of elements of indigenous African (Yoruba) lore. The paper contends that the satiric mode explored trenchantly in Soyinka's play's organizing and structuring principles. The paper posits that satiric mode is the fundamental backbone of his work, not just a decoration. The paper explains further that the festival's motif and cultural celebration built into the structure of the selected play and properly harnessed raw material for his poetry. The methodology is analytical and complemented by hermeneutics theory. By vigorously exploiting African (Yoruba) experience, festival motif, and satiric modes, in a manner relevant to the moral development of his world, it will be seen that Soyinka, succeeds in laying the foundation for a truly Nigerian national literature and it is, in fact, on this that his strengths as a satirist playwright lie

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