Death and the King's Horseman by Wole Soyinka

Start Your Free Trial

What was the role of the traditional praise poet as seen in Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman?

Expert Answers info

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write5,918 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

PRAISE-SINGER: Far be it for me to belittle the dwellers of that place but, a man is either born to his are or he isn't. And I don't know for certain that you'll meet my father, so who is going to sing these deeds in accents that will pierce the deafness of the ancient ones. I have prepared my going - just tell me: 'Olohun-iyo, I need you on this journey' and I shall be behind you.

ELESIN: ... Stay close to me, but only on this side. My fame, my honour are legacies to the living; stay behind and let the world sip its honey from your lips.

PRAISE-SINGER: Your name will be like the sweet berry .... The world will never spit it out.
[...]

PRAISE-SINGER: ... there is only one shell to the soul of man: there is only one world to the spirit of our race. If that world leaves its course and smashes on the boulders of the great void, whose world will give us shelter?

The role of the...

(The entire section contains 477 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial