A Dance of the Forests Questions and Answers
by Wole Soyinka

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In A Dance of the Forests, what is Soyinka trying to help his audience understand through the parallels between characters, actions, and attitudes in the present and the past?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In my opinion, the concept that the author is trying to help the audience understand in A Dance of the Forests can be summed up in the words of Dead Woman:

The world is big but the dead are bigger. We’ve been dying since the beginning.

When you talk about the “parallels between characters” in A Dance of the Forests , you are speaking about a large amalgamation of living and dead as well as mortals and gods. What is important to understand is that Soyinka presents Yoruba culture for a Nigerian audience, so for an American reader, explanation is needed. As a short explanation, we should remember that Forest Head has disguised himself as a mortal human named Obaneji. He has invited four other mortals into the forest to welcome Dead Woman and Dead Man. The god Aroni has already taken the two...

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xmcmillin eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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