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South African Journal of African Languages

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Of kings, jesters and fools: the insignificantly significant role of minor characters in selected isiZulu dramas

CD Ntuli

Abstract


Of the many critical analyses and articles already written on isiZulu literature that deal with characters, almost all concentrate on the main characters, for instance, the hero. Greater attention is seldom given to the minor characters. Although one could debate that it may be a futile exercise to analyse characters who have no functional part in the fabula because they do not experience functional events, by using examples from two isiZulu dramas entitled Mageba Lazihlonza and Inkinga Yomendo, I will endeavour to demonstrate some key or decisive roles that the minor characters play to keep the text intact and ‘make’ or ‘break’ the hero. Contemporary happenings world-wide have borne witness to many events where leaders and prominent people have been brought down a peg or two by their subordinates or by insignificant individuals.

S.Afr.J.Afr.Lang., 2006,4



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