Confluence of Kinship and Divinity in Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not to Blame and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus

Keywords: Affinal; Communitarian; Divinity; Divine-centrism; Ola Rotimi; Sophocles


Blood and affinal ties are central in any discourse on kinship. This paper grapples with representation of kinship ties within a spiritual matrix envisioned in the dramaturgy of Ola Rotimi and Sophocles. The Gods Are Not to Blame being an adaptation of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King whose storyline is continued in Oedipus at Colonus, makes it possible for the article to explore the interplay between divinity and kinship in the milieus reflected in ancient Greek and African societies. Whereas previous scholars have majorly focused on consanguinity to make sense of kinship affiliations, this article examines how Greek and African notions of spirituality impact on affinal relationships depicted in Rotimi and Sophocles’ drama. The interrogation is conducted by examining the effect of divinity on kinship from the dimension of in-laws and wives. The analysis of the three plays hinges on psychoanalytic literary theory. The paper concludes that while the involvement of the divine in human relationships enhances affinal ties, it also contributes to their disintegration when divine-centrism supersedes communitarian interests.


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eISSN: 2714-2132
print ISSN: 2714-2183