“No Text is an Island”: Intertextuality in the Drama of Hope Eghagha

  • BF Afolayan


Nigerian plays are constructed. Starting with Soyinka and Clark- Bekederemo, playwrights in Nigeria tend to rewrite and hold dialogues with their predecessors’ works. As a concept, intertextuality was coined by Julia Kristeva to encapsulate issues of “re-writing”, re –visioning, confrontation, adaptation, processes of borrowing, reinterpretation, interrogation/debate with older texts. It lends credence to T.S. Eliot’s idea in “Tradition and Individual Talent”. Its focus is examining codes, themes, images of older texts found in new ones. Thus, Intertextuality features prominently in Eghagha’s Death Not a Redeemer. This paper focuses on this play by exploring some of the ways in which Eghagha rewrites the themes and motifs of Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman.The central point linking these plays is ritual death. Has this concept been challenged, modified and translated by the playwright? What has he taken or jettisoned in order to envision a certain cultural life? The paper concludes that Eghagha has reproduced and extended the dramatic situation by incorporating the dynamics of a postcolonial African state.

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eISSN: 0075-7640
print ISSN: 0075-7640