Topics for Further Study
Research the policies of apartheid as practiced by the South African government in the 1970s. How do these policies affect each of the characters in Sizwe Bansi Is Dead?
Compare and contrast Sizwe Bansi Is Dead with The Island, another play written by Fugard and his collaborators during this time period. The two plays are often performed together. What does each play express about apartheid?
Research the psychological aspects of identity. How will Sizwe’s choice affect his psychological makeup? Write a short story about Sizwe a year later. How has he changed?
Some critics believe that Sizwe Bansi Is Dead has elements of existentialist and absurdist theater. Research the history and philosophy of these two kinds of plays. Do you agree with these critics?