The Tragic Hero in Death and the King’s Horseman

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TOPIC: Who is , Elesin Oba or Olunde? Please give reasons for your answer in a carefully written essay. Please use “Being, the Will, and the Semantics of Death” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Criticism 155-164) and “Tragedy, Mimicry, and the African World” by Olakunle George (Criticism 207-222) in your essay. The Real Tragic Hero Of The Nation

The drama “Death and the King’s Horseman” written by Wole Soyinka tells a story that relates to the burial of the dead king of the Oyo, which is held by the ancient Yoruba in Africa. According to the tradition of the Yoruba, after thirty-day of the king’s death, his horseman Elesin must commit suicide in the rite in order to accompany the king passing through the holy passage towards the world of the other side. Moreover, Olunde, the eldest son of Elesin, who is sent to the medical college in England by the colonial government, returned home in time in order to burying his father who is dead of the traditional accompanying custom. However, since Elesin is sentimentally attached to the mortal life, Pilkings, the chief executive of the colonial area, seizes his hesitation and gets the opportunity of preventing him from fulfilling the obligation which is regarded as an uncivilized convention in the western culture. Furthermore, after doing his utmost persuading Pilkings not to intervene the rite, Olunde replaced his father resolutely as the accompanier of the king on his passage to the holy paradise. What’s more, by losing the honor, dignity, and the respect from the public, Elesin commits the suicide with sheer shame. For this article, it is clear that Elesin should be the tragic hero in the drama and I will discuss the point that Elesin’s tragic fate is not merely caused by the Yoruba society itself and the colonial inference but also by himself, through explaining some exact proof from the original drama and evaluating some thesis from the article “Being the Will, and the Semantics of Death” written by Henry...
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