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How is Elesin Oba portrayed as a tragic hero? 

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m2nzie | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:44 PM via web

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How is Elesin Oba portrayed as a tragic hero? 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM (Answer #1)

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A tragic hero is a hero who comes to a tragic end, usually death.  The hero does so in performance of his duty.  Elesin is the King’s Horseman in a small tribe in Nigeria during Word War II.   Like many cultures, Elesin’s tribe believes that there is an afterlife.  Elesin is honor-bound to commit suicide in order to keep his late king company.

Elesin says:

“Life is honour. It ends when honour ends.”

This sums up Elesin’s belief that his suicide is honorable and his duty.  In the end, Elesin is able to commit suicide, even if he does not do it as he intends.  He dies, and he dies doing his duty.

 

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