Death and the kings horseman pdf
Death and the King’s Horseman Summary | GradeSaverThe action of Death and the King's Horseman begins a month after the king 's death. Per Yoruba religious tradition, Elesin , the titular horseman a title that signifies that he's in service to the king and shares many of the same rights and perks, but without the same responsibilities , must commit ritual suicide so that he can accompany the king to the afterlife. Things become complicated, however, when the Englishman Simon Pilkings , the local district officer, discovers that Elesin intends to commit suicide while the prince of England is visiting. Through Pilkings's attempts to stop Elesin from committing suicide, the play begins to explore the function and the cultural significance of death, both for the Yoruba people and for the English. Ultimately, the play makes it very clear that death is something different for every culture—and that interrupting one culture's way of thinking about the relationship between life and death can have disastrous consequences.
Death and the king's horseman
Based on events that took place in in the ancient Yoruban city of Oyo, Soyinka's acclaimed and powerful play addresses classic issues of cultural conflict, tragic decision-making, and the psychological mindsets of individuals and groups. The text of the play is accompanied by an introduction and explanatory annotations for the many allusions to traditional Nigerian myth and culture [from Amazon]. See more about this book on Archive. Copy and paste this code into your Wikipedia page. Need help? Last edited by ImportBot.
Death and the King's Horseman
In the introduction to the play, Soyinka says outright that it's inappropriate and reductive to consider Death and the King's Horseman only as a play about a "clash of cultures" and the role of colonialism in Nigeria. Instead, he encourages readers and prospective directors to focus on the conflict that Elesin experiences as he fails to follow through with his suicide for a host of other reasons not related to Pilkings 's attempts to stop him. Despite this warning, the fact remains that colonialism, racism, and prejudice loom large over the story, if only because it takes place in colonial Nigeria during World War Two. When considered in terms of colonialism, the action of Death and the King's Horseman becomes less about one man's failure to uphold his society's traditions and maintain cosmic order—instead, Elesin and Olunde 's deaths come to symbolize the death of the Yoruba society as a whole under colonial rule. It becomes clear in the side comments and observations of all characters, Yoruba and English alike, that the city of Oyo has a long and tragic history of European occupation that, even in the play's present, influences all the characters.