Death and the King's Horseman by Wole Soyinka

Start Your Free Trial

What do the similarities and differences between the two cultures in Death and the King's Horseman demonstrate?

Expert Answers info

lhg44 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write9 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Indeed, the original question presents a challenging task. Wole Soyinka, the author of Death and the King's Horseman, expressly warned his readers against a "sadly familiar reductionist tendency" to focus on cultures instead of "threnodic essence" (Soyinka, 2003, p. 3)."Threnodic essence" can be defined as "a presence or quality of death and lamentation." For Soyinka, "threnodic essence" not only is the demonstration pertaining to the two cultures, but also comprises much of the meaning and theme of Death and the King's Horseman.

The similarities and differences between the two cultures (Yoruba/African culture and English-colonial culture) in Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman help to demonstrate the vision of a culture in which threnodic essence is of greatest importance. The reason for Soyinka's emphasis on threnodic essence, as opposed to an emphasis on the similarities and differences between the two general cultures just mentioned, is due to the universal nature of threnodic essence;...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 533 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now




check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial