The Lion and The Jewel main character Sidi sitting in the middle of the picture wearing a striped dress with the outlines of two male faces on other side of her

The Lion and the Jewel

by Wole Soyinka

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What literary devices are used in The Lion and the Jewel?

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In The Lion and the Jewel, key literary devices include irony, personification, simile, metaphor, and symbolism. Irony is central to the plot, with traditional roles subverted, while personification brings the landscape and village to life. Similes and metaphors often draw on animal imagery, and symbolism is woven throughout the text, starting with the title. These devices enhance the narrative and deepen its meaning.

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The literary devices used in The Lion and the Jewel include irony, personification, simile, metaphor, and symbolism.

Irony is perhaps the most prominent literary device in the play. The entire plot is based on situational irony and subversion, as the old man, who in most comedies would pursue the beautiful young girl in vain, wins her away from his young, ostensibly enlightened rival.

Personification is used to animate the landscape and the village, with phrases such as "Can the stones bear to listen?" and "The village is in holiday." There are also vivid similes often using animals or insects (sulking like a slighted cockroach, as stubborn as an illiterate goat). The metaphors are of a similar type, as when Sadiku is described as a "faithful lizard" or Baroka as a "creature of the wilds."

Finally, the symbolism begins with the title: Baroka is the Lion, while Sidi is the Jewel. There are various other symbols within the text, as when Baroka's picture next to the latrine symbolizes his corruption, or the unopened treasure house represents purity.

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