Death and the King's Horsemen Themes & Motifs

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Honor

Honor is a major, dominant, and overarching theme in Wole Soyinka’s play, “Death and the King’s Horseman”. Honor includes respect, integrity, moral worth, upright behavior, and merit, owing to one’s position, actions, deeds, or words. In the novel, honor is a word that surrounds the actions of the tribal members of the Yoruba, especially when it comes to customs, traditions, and rituals. Honor in the play chiefly attaches itself to the ritual suicide of Elesin, the King’s Horseman.

Elesin is revered and respected as an honorable man, because he is the King’s Horseman. Nothing is denied to him, or withheld from him, from young girls to clothes to food and wine. He lives a very easy and pleasurable existence, and that he is a good man also owes to the honor that he carries for himself, his family, and the tribe...

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This section contains 930 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Death and the King's Horsemen Study Guide
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