The distinguishing feature of Greek tragedy that relates it to Soyinka's play Death and the King's Horseman is that the hero suffers death (or some other horrific consequence like blinding and exile) as a result of a tragic flaw in his character that leads to a fatal mistake or decision resulting in vastly horrible consequences, including the hero's own tragic end. In Soyinka's play, this scenario plays out exactly as in Greek theatre.
Elesin's tragic flaw is his womanizing vanity:
ELESIN: Come then. this market is my roost. When I come among the women I am a chicken with a...
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