Death and the King's Horsemen - Author's Note - Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

Author’s Note

Wole Soyinka sets the stage for his play “Death and the King’s Horseman” in his author’s note preceding the play. He explains that the play takes place in the ancient city of Yoruba in Nigeria, in 1946. It is inspired by true events between Elesin, the King’s Horseman, his son, and the Colonial District Officer.

Soyinka cautions the reader against the reductionist tendency of ascribing events to the overused theme of “clash of cultures”. He describes this as a prejudicial thing, because it assumes there is equality in every given situation or instance between the alien and indigenous cultures. Soyinka encourages focus rather on the theme of death and lamentation.

He further goes on to explain that the District Officer should not be viewed as the victim of a dilemma, that the Colonialism in the play is merely a “catalytic...

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This section contains 1,032 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Death and the King's Horsemen Study Guide
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