Who are the characters in The Trial of Dedan Kimathi by Ngugi wa Thiong'o?

The central character in the play is Dedan Kimathi, a revolutionary who fought for Kenya's independence from Britain in the 1950s. Another major character is the unnamed woman, who is symbolic of the ideals of the independence movement. A final central character is Judge Henderson, who presides over the trial and symbolizes the hypocrisy and unfairness of European colonialism.

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To start with the main characters, there is Dedan Kimathi, the titular hero, one of the most influential freedom fighters in Kenya's bloody campaign for independence from Britain in the 1950's. Kimathi was an ethnic Gikuyu and a teacher before joining the popular armed resistance against British colonial rule, whom the British dismissively labeled the "Mau-Mau." Fearing Kimathis's growing influence, the British had him arrested on trumped-up charges of carrying a firearm, and was executed in 1957 at the same prison where the play's co-author, activist writer and professor Ngugi wa Thiong’o, would himself be kept without just cause years later.

Along with the historical figure Kimathi, another important character is The Woman. The preface to the play describes her as "symbolic of all...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 787 words.)

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