Discuss two elements which reinforce to the audience that The Lion and the Jewel is an African play.  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Lakunle's conflict with traditional society throughout the play reinforces the audience that The Lion and the Jewel is an African play. Lakunle is continually criticizing traditional African customs such as Sidi carrying water on her head, revering the Bale, and most notably paying the bride-price. These customs are specific to the Yoruba culture which developed in West Africa.

Soyinka's characters also mention a significant Yoruba god throughout the play. When Sidi beings to criticize Baroka, Sadiku says, "May Sango restore your wits" (Soyinka 23). Sadiku again mentions the Yoruba god Sango when she dances for joy that Baroka is impotent. Sadiku comments, "Oh Sango my lord, who of us possessed your lighting and ran like fire through that lion's tail..." (Soyinka 33). Later on, Lakunle witnesses Sidi run into the village and throw herself to the ground. Lakunle says, "This trial is my own. Let Sango and his lighting keep out of this" (Soyinka 60). Sango is the god of thunder according to traditional Yoruba culture which is another element that reinforces to the audience that the play is African.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial