DANCE OF INTRIGUE: A SEMIOTIC READING OF WOLE SOYINKA’S KONGI’S HARVEST

Edith Abisola Awogu-Maduagwu

Abstract


This paper sets out to examine the importance of quasi verbal elements as dramatic motif in Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest. The plot is informed by the post-colonial leadership of African   societies in the wake of the departure of imperialist powers, and dramatizes the conflict between the traditional authorities on the one hand, and the western styled new leaders on the other, as they struggle over the newly independent African countries. Through a semiotic analysis of the text, this paper examines the use of the non-verbal motif of dance as a message medium. The aim is to validate the relevance of non-verbal communication in the construction of African drama and to recommend greater allegiance to the application of traditional elements in the writing of contemporary African dramatic literature. Peirce’s Structuralism theory of semiotics is employed in the analysis of the role of dance and gestural forms. Findings reveal the rich colour which traditional elements such as dance and mime can bring to the understanding of a contemporary play. The work is expected to contribute to the search for a concise dramaturgy of African literature.   


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References


ADEOTI, Gbemisola Aderemi 2004 Literary Studies in Contemporary Nigerian Universities: The Challenges of Nationalism and Globalisation

SOYINKA, Wole1983 Kongi's Harvest in Collected Plays, Oxford University Press

Ogunbiyi Yemi, 1971. Theatre in Africa

Ibitokun, B 1986 Dance as Ritual Drama and Entertainment in the Gelede of the Ketu Yoruba Sub-group of West Africa Semiotics of the Theatre


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