What are two African proverbs and two Biblical references from the play The Lion and the Jewel?  

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

African Proverbs

Towards the end of the play, Baroka is attempting to woo Sidi and shows her the machine that makes stamps. He tells Sidi that her image will adorn each stamp leaving Ilujinle, then expresses his thoughts about progress and modernity. Sidi mentions that Baroka sounds like the school teacher and Baroka says, "the proof of wisdom is the wish to learn even from children. And the haste of youth must learn its temper from the gloss of ancient leather, from a strength knit close along the grain" (Soyinka 53). Baroka uses the African proverb to explain to Sidi that he and the school teacher must learn from one another.

When Sidi is speaking with Baroka, Baroka mentions that his favorite wife had harmed him, and Sidi asks if his wife was in any way dissatisfied. Baroka initially comments that he does not have time to worry about what upsets women, then changes his tone and tells Sidi to not make him feel like an old ram. He tells Sidi that he will not allow her to watch him wrestle and references an African proverb by saying, "The woman gets lost in the woods one day and every wood deity dies the next" (Soyinka 42).

Biblical References

When Lakunle hears that Baroka wants Sidi to be his wife, Lakunle curses the Bale. He attempts to appeal to Sidi by referencing beautiful women in the Bible who successfully attracted men by saying, "My Ruth, my Rachel, Esther, Bathsheba thou sum of fabled perfections from Genesis to the Revelations" (Soyinka 20).

Later on in the play, Baroka references the Bible by saying, "Yesterday's wine alone is strong and blooded, child, and though the Christians' holy book denies the truth of this, old wine thrives best within a new bottle" (Soyinka 54). In Chapter 2 of the Gospel of Mark, there is an analogy of putting new wine into old wineskins and Baroka comments that he disagrees with the verse.

Read the study guide:
The Lion and the Jewel

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question