Despotism, Ritual Sacrifice and the Unconscious

Faithful Williams 53 PAGES (18620 WORDS) Project
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CHAPTER ONE 

INTRODUCTION

Literary criticism

startedwiththeGreeks.Aristotle'spoeticsismostlydevotedto drama.Thinkingofliteraturefromastandpointofanartisticorrealisticdepiction ofreality,thenliterarycriticism andliterarytheoryisthestudyofhow we interpretliteraryrepresentationsofreality.Beitfiction and poetry,literary criticism isthestudyoftherepresentationofdifferentworlds.Mosttimes, medievalandclassicalcriticism hadfocusedonreligioustexts,andthediverse longreligioustraditionsofhermeneuticsandtextualexegesishavehadadeeprootedinfluenceonthestudyofseculartexts(“wikipedia.com 16,April2019”). Literarycriticism fallsinto theFormalist/New criticism approach,Historical approach,philosophicalapproach,Feministapproach,Mythologicalapproach amongstothers.Literarycriticismsinhistoryhasintroducedawayformodern criticstoinvestigateintowrittenworksandexplorehow theyrelatetosocial, political,economicandmanyotherissuesthatcanbelookedinto. Literarycriticism hasopeneduppredominantlyoverthelastcenturywiththe introduction ofFeminism,Marxism,Psychoanalysis,GenderStudies,Ecocriticism,andPost-colonialism.Literarytheoryhashelpedinterprettextsthrough integrationofotherdisciplines.Otherareasinacademiahavealsoadopted literarytheories.Inotherwords,literarycriticism isnolongeracloseddiscipline. Ithasopenedupandcontainedwithlotsofotherdisciplines:philosophy, psychology,history,sociology,andeconomics. 2 AsnotedbyGbilekaa: A good literary theory is supposed to question the assumptions,beliefsandfeelingsofreaders,explainingwhy theyrespondtotextsinacertainway.(30) From Gbilekaa’sperception,aliterarytheoryhelpsreaderstobetterapprehend howatextisanduncoverselementsinvolvedintermsofcharacterizationinthe text.Thisalsomeansthatvariousreadersderivemeaningofthetextfrom differentstandpoints.Therefore,literarytheoryplanstheconnectionbetween authorandwork.Literarytheoryhelpsdevelopthemagnitudeofclass,gender, andraceforliterarystudy,bothfrom thestandpointoftheplaywright,poetor novelistandananalysisoftheirthematicpreoccupationwithintexts.Literary theorysuggestsdifferentideologyforapprehendingtheplaceofhistorical contextintheinterpretationandtheusefulnessoflanguageandtheunconscious factorsofthetext. Aboveall,literarycriticism doesnotrequirethatweallagreeaboutwhatawork ofliteraturemeans,howitworks,orwhetherit'seffective.Wedon'tevenhaveto agreewithanyexpert'sjudgment.Rather,wehaveonlytwoobligationsascritics. Firstly,weareobligatedtoexplainasclearlyaspossiblethereasonsbehindour 3 ideasandbackthem upwithevidencefrom theactualtextwearediscussing. Secondly,weareobligatedtolistenrespectfullytocritic'sideainthehopethat wecanlearnfrom howothersrespondtoworksofliterature.Thisbetterreveals whyGbilekaaexplainedthat“inaway,weareallliterarytheoristsbecauseeach timeweencounteraworkasliterature,wecomewithcertainexpectations determinedbyourexperienceswhichfromthebackdropofthemind-setwehave developedandtheseexperiencesandexpectationskeepshifting;itisnever static:Areaderbringstothetexthis/herpastexperienceandpresentpersonality” (7).Abovethisclaim,wemaysurmisethateveryreaderalwaysaguewithin himselforherselfandtrytoachievewhatheorshehaswitnessedinthepast whileinterpretingatext. 1.1 BackgroundtotheStudy Overtimeintheworldofliterature,psychoanalyticalapproachhasgonebeyonda gradualprocess.Ithasalwaysbeenanessentialtoolforinterpretingand understandingaliterarytext.Theliterarytextinthisstudywillbeanalysedbased onSigmundFreud'sPsychoanalysistheory(PsychoanalyticCriticism). Theunconsciouswillbediscussedasthedifferentapproachofdream that installs a mentalpicture and symbolic in ourminds when the mind is unconscious.TheUnconsciousisseenaswheremostoftheworkofourmind getsdone;itistherepositoryofautomaticskills,thesourceofourintuitionand dreams,andanengineofinformationprocessing(Freud,24). Yerima(2018)inaninterviewexplainsthattheinnermindtakesamanfrom the 4 consciousnessleveltotheunconsciouslevel,whichinvolvesdreamsthathelps tointerpret.Healsobelievesthatthemindisalwaysinaturmoilespeciallyfor theprotagonistandalsowhenthereisalmostareversaloffortune.Hebelieves thatintheYorubacosmology,theunconsciousisalwaysinconflictwiththe consciousmind.Andasaloverofmasqueradesintellinghisstory,heasserts thatamasqueradeplaysanimportantroleasthevehiclethatpassesthroughthe unconscioustotheconscious.HealsoassertsthattheYorubaconceptofthe unconsciousisinthemindanddestiny. SigmundFreudexplainsthatsuchunconsciousactionsmaytroubleaperson's wayofactingeventhoughsuchpersoncannotgiveanaccountonthem.Freud andhiscontemporariesthoughtthatdreamsandslipsofthetonguewerereally concealedexamplesofunconsciouscontenttoothreateningtobeconfronted directly(Tyron,2). InouranalysisofYerima'sMojagbe,despotism shallbediscussedinthisstudy, presentinghowthegovernmentbyasingularauthorityeitherasasingleperson orgroupthatruleswithabsolutepowerespeciallyinacruel,oppressiveand tyrannicalway.However,“despotism”doesnotdirectlyrelatetopsychoanalysis oftheplayMojagbe,butwillbetreatedasatraitoftheprotagonistObaMojagbe throughtheconceptoftheunconscious. Despotism canbeseenintheplayMojagbe,asObaMojagbeispresentedasa powerfulhumanwhoalsoportraysarudeandheartlesskingwhotrickilyascends tothethrone. 5 Ritualsacrifice in the playis seen as a wayofbecoming powerfuland supernatural,involvingkillingofinnocentpeople,andofferingthem tothegods. Thisterm willbeanalysedasathematicpreoccupationofthetextandhowthe playwrighthascreatedthecharacterObaMojagbe. However,thisresearchworkfocusesonYerima'sMojagbe.Hence,ouremphasis willbeondespotism,ritualsacrificeandtheunconsciousintheplay. 1.2 StatementoftheProblem Oftentimecriticsfailtolookintoissuespertainingtothepsychologicalanalysis ofcharacterinliterature,becausethisaspectofcriticismhasbecomeoneofthe mostchallengingareasofliteraryandculturalstudiestoday.Lookingathow charactersarebeingdevelopedbytheplaywright,thisresearchworkfocuseson despotism,ritualsacrificeandunconsciousasportrayedinAhmedYerima's Mojagbe.The extremism ofpowerhas become very worrisome in our contemporarysociety.Man'segoisbeclouded,andbecauseitisbeclouded, man'sreasoningpsychicisblurred.Therefore,todoapropercheckofhowman behaveswhenhegetsintopower,thisstudyshallcriticallydoananalysis throughdespotism.Despotism isseenamongstmenbecauseoftheirselfish interestsofbecomingpowerfulandtakingfullcontroloftheworldaroundthem. Yerimaopensoureyestotheworldweliveinduringthepre-colonialera,how manacquirespowerforcefullyandhowpsychologicalelementsaffectsthemind ofaman.Thisbringsustotheissueswithintheplayandhowtheplaywright presentsthem. 6 1.3 Aim/ObjectivesoftheStudy Theaim ofthisworkistodiscusshow despotism,ritualsacrificeandthe unconscious(nightmare)areportrayedintheplay. Otherobjectivesofthisstudyareasfollows: 1.Toexplainthestateofbeingunconsciousinrelationtotheplaywright's conceptoftheunconscious. 2.ToprobefurthertheconceptofPsychoanalyticCriticism. 3.To examine and explain the thematic conceptofritualsacrifice and despotism as a traitofthe protagonistthrough the conceptofthe unconsciousintheplay. 4.AnalyseManasanembodimentofgoodnessandevilfrom thestandpointof thecharacterObaMojagbe. 5.Tocriticallyrelatetheplaytoourcontemporarysociety. 1.4 SignificanceoftheStudy Thisresearchissignificantbecauseitthrowsalotofmeaning,insightintothe play. Thebenefitsthatwillaccrueattheendofthisstudyarestatedthus; 7 I. Thestudywouldcontributetotheexistingbodyofliteratureand criticism onYerima’splays.Thisstudyalsodrawsattentionof scholarstothecontributionsofAhmedYerimaintheNigerianand Africantheatrepractice. II. Itcould be used as a reference materialforcritics,theatre practitioners,directorswhowouldwanttodirecttheplay. III. ItshallexposetherelevanceofdramaaddressingtheNigeria politicalsystem. IV. Itwillserveasaguidetoresearcherswhoareresearchingonthe fieldofPsychoanalyticalCriticism. V. Theresearchalsohopestomobilizethemassesformoresensitive politicalparticipationthroughdrama. 1.5 ScopeoftheStudy TheexplorationofpsychoanalytictheoryinAhmedYerima'sMojagbeisthe centralfocusofthisresearch.Theintentionofthisresearchworkistoascertain andcriticallyrevealtotheextenttowhichtheunconsciouselementsdrivesthe traitsoftheprotagonistintheplay.Thisstudydoesnotserveasayardstickfor thestudyandanalysisofallYerima’sandindeedotherliteraryworksbutitcould beusedasabasisforgeneralizationoftherolepsychologyplaysindrama. 1.6 Methodology 8 Themethodusedinthisresearchworkisqualitative.Thisentailedcriticaland textualanalysisinbothcontentandform oftheplayMojagbe.Thefirstmethod ofdatagatheringisintensivelibraryresearch.ThisentailedtheStudyofbooks, journals,andotherrelevantpublications.Retrievalofmaterialsfrom theinternet, onlinelibraryalsoprovidesthebulkofmaterialforthisstudy. ThesecondmethodologyisinterviewwithAhmedYerima,andalsorelatedworks fromotherscholars

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APA

Faithful, W (2020). Despotism, Ritual Sacrifice and the Unconscious. Afribary.com: Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://afribary.com/works/despotism-ritualsacrifice-and-the-unconcious

MLA 8th

Williams, Faithful. "Despotism, Ritual Sacrifice and the Unconscious" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 29 Jan. 2020, https://afribary.com/works/despotism-ritualsacrifice-and-the-unconcious . Accessed 03 Dec. 2020.

MLA7

Williams, Faithful. "Despotism, Ritual Sacrifice and the Unconscious". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 29 Jan. 2020. Web. 03 Dec. 2020. < https://afribary.com/works/despotism-ritualsacrifice-and-the-unconcious >.

Chicago

Williams, Faithful. "Despotism, Ritual Sacrifice and the Unconscious" Afribary.com (2020). Accessed December 03, 2020. https://afribary.com/works/despotism-ritualsacrifice-and-the-unconcious