A Discourse on Tragedy in Traditional Yoruba Drama as Exemplified by Wole Soyinka

  • CN Agibe
  • EF Apejoye


Many theatre scholars have come to accept the norm that only the Western form of tragedy as exemplified by Aristotle as the only tragedy but this has proven to be wrong owing to the fact that Arthur Miller theorized the tragedy of the common man. However, Soyinka the first African to theorize on tragedy has provided us with the tragic form of drama in the Yoruba ritual theatre. Therefore, this work seeks to critically discuss the tragedy in Yoruba traditional drama as exemplified by Soyinka, bringing to a conclusion that the African tragedy is more in-depth than that of the Western because the tragic hero does not just remain in the physical realm but transcends to the cosmic where he relates with the gods (who are the main actors in the Yoruba ritual drama) while the Western form of tragedy only relies on the ephemeral stage. The comparative and critical method is employed here. At the end of this work it is believed that many theatre scholars will come to embrace the theory of tragedy as exemplified by Soyinka. 


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eISSN: 1813-2227