Wole Soyinka makes certain characters play double roles in his play A Dance of the Forests. Does this have any significance?

In A Dance of the Forests, Obaneji is doubled with the forest father, Demoke with an ancient court poet, and Rola with Madame Tortoise. These pairings emphasize the central traits and functions of the characters.

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In Wole Soyinka's play, A Dance of the Forests , Obaneji the record-keeper is doubled with the Forest Father, Demoke the wood carver with an ancient court poet, and the sadistic Rola with the prostitute Madame Tortoise. In all three cases, there are connections between the two roles which...

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In Wole Soyinka's play, A Dance of the Forests, Obaneji the record-keeper is doubled with the Forest Father, Demoke the wood carver with an ancient court poet, and the sadistic Rola with the prostitute Madame Tortoise. In all three cases, there are connections between the two roles which bring out the themes of the play.

Obaneji is is unpopular because he keeps records of the villagers' lives, provoking suspicion and resentment. However, as the forest father, his knowledge is far more extensive, as is his power. The doubling of the character provides a link between humanity and nature.

Demoke is an artisan who is struggling with guilt over the death of his apprentice. His character is doubled with that of the poet, who is also a creator of beauty and a sensitive soul. The power of art and the pain of the artist, who must be both sensitive and robust, are depicted as being the same in both eras.

Another character who transcends time is Rola, who is a symbol of evil, using her power over men to cause them harm. Soyinka emphasizes Rola's misuse of her beauty, which harms the central characters in the play, by doubling her with the prostitute Madame Tortoise. As with the other two double roles, the characters share a single central characteristic, which is more prominent because it is presented twice.

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