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The dramaturgy of violence in Africa: A study of selected plays

Saint Gbilekaa


The theatre provides a vent for playwrights to express our common humanity by highlighting the problems that confront society. In today’s world, one of  such problems is violence. It is the contention of this paper that violence occurs where there is no equity. State terrorism and the absence of the rule of  law can also lead to anarchy and violence. Joblessness and the denial of equal opportunities can also result into violence. By dramatising violence,  playwrights do not only seek to portray the violent nature of man but at the same time seek ways of bringing about peace, more so that the audience  shares the traumatic experience of victims of violence. Drawing our examples from The Trial of Dedan Kimathi, Once upon Four Robbers and Hangmen  Also Die, the paper uses the qualitative methodology at arriving at these findings. The paper concludes that the dramatisation of violence throws up  moral and ethical questions and that when playwrights use violence with moral consciousness, it result to positive ends.  

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eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562