Power Struggle in Ola Rotimi’s Kurunmi and Toyin Abiodun’s The Trials of Afonja

Olusola Olasunkanmi Oso

Abstract


A major cause of crises in various strata of the human society is power struggle in different layers. Ola Rotimi’s Kurunmi and Toyin Abiodun’s The Trials of Afonja exemplify historical African plays which have been copiously previously studied. However, most of the existing studies on these plays have failed to address the issue of power struggles in these plays, despite the fact that power struggle is central to the plays, and is a cardinal issue which is of urgent currency in African continent and different parts of the globe. Power struggle has put a cog in the wheel of progress of many a country across the globe. This study is an enterprise at filling this gap. It examines the various instances of power struggles in Ola Rotimi’s Kurunmi, and Toyin Abiodun’s The Trials of Afonja. Foucault’s Discourse Analysis provides the theoretical framework of the study. In the two plays examined, there is power struggle among several characters. In Kurunmi, there is power struggle between Kurunmi and Adelu, Kurunmi and the Ibadan chiefs, Ogunmola and Ibikunle, and Ibadan and Ijaye. In The Trials of Afonja, Afonja and Alaafin Aole, Afonja and the Oyo warriors, and Afonja and Alimi are locked in power struggles. In addition, figures in authority habitually use language to express their dominance and request obedience from those subordinate to them. The paper submits that Ola Rotimi and Toyin Abiodun employ power struggles among several characters not only to propel the plots of their plays but also to foreground the historical and socio-cultural backgrounds of the plays.

 


Keywords


Power struggle; Historical African Drama; Foucault’s Discourse Analysis

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10466

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