Drama and Prophecy: The J. P. Clark Paradigm

  • B Benedict
  • C Odi

Abstract

The utilitarian aesthetic of drama cannot be disputed particularly in Africa as it has since held sway and decked itself out from the genesis of the literary drama of the continent. This is because most African dramatists across the boundaries of critical currents have used drama to treat one social issue or the other. This approach to dramatic creativity is an appropriation of drama as a veritable weapon of social reconstruction. No doubt it is a methodological product of the Marxist aesthetics which is home to theatre of Ideology, commitment and radicalism. J. P. Clark is one dramatist of the first generation of playwrights in Africa whose works were widely read and given scholarly attention. Critics have branded him and his contemporaries like Wole Soyinka as dramatists who are at home in the poetics of metaphysical animism or animist metaphysics. Their works come under severe attack from the critics of Marxist persuasion as lacking ideology, commitment and interprets history as static. With the creation of The Wives’ Revolt an opportunity has been created to look at his new dramatic work from another critical angle. Thus, this paper examines the appropriation of drama for prediction and prophesies using J. P. Clark’s The wives’ revolt as a reference. The paper is divided into three sections. The first section deals with an exploration of the subject of prophecy. We devote the second section to examining drama and prediction or prophesy as dramatized and portrayed in The wives’ revolt. The third and final section is the conclusion of the literary investigation which holds that J .P. Clark has used the medium of drama to predict or prophesy socioeconomic and political events in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.
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eISSN: 1595-1413