This study has been embarked upon to present the politics and aesthetics in selected plays of Wole Soyinka paying much attention to his The Beatification of Area Boy and Kongi’s Harvest. The study has been able to extract and discuss the ways in which Wole Soyinka applied cultural artifacts to political issues to depict the happenings in his immediate society. The sociological approach has been used in respect to the Marxist theory. The study has conclusively pointed to the fact that the society can only be changed positively if everyone is ready to make huge sacrifices to realize positive changes.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of contentsvii
1.1 Politics and aesthetics1-3
1.2 Purpose of the study3
1.3 Scope of the study4
1.4 Justification of the study4
1.5.1 Sociology of literature5-7
1.5.2 A Review of Marxist theory7-8
1.6 Research question8
1.7 Research hypothesis8
1.8 Biography of Wole Soyinka 9-10
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Review of related plays of Soyinka13-23
3.0Politics and aesthetics in The Beatification Of Area Boy 26-27
3.1 The military and the area boys 28-29
3.2 Allusions as aesthetic device 30-31
3.3 Songs as aesthetic essence in the play 31-32
3.4 Ogun mythology 32-33
3.5 Political setting 33-34
3.6 Sexual imagery 35
END NOTES 35-36
4.0Literary and political issues in Kongi’s Harvest 37-40
4.1 The politics of tribal allegiance 40-42
4.2 The politics of intimidation, oppression and torture 42-44
4.3 Imagery in Kongi’s Harvest 45-49
END NOTES 50
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION
5.1 Summary 51-52
5.2 Findings 52-53
5.3 Conclusion 53-55
1.1POLITICS AND AESTHETICS
According to Leftwich (1983) politics consists of all the activities of cooperation and conflict within and between societies, whereby the human species go about obtaining, using, producing and distributing resources in the course of the production and reproduction of its social and political life.
Politics in this sense therefore enables the writer to examine the problems which occur within or between societies, institutions or groups, whether it is unemployment, war, famine, disease, overcrowding or various forms of conflict. Writers are members of the society and they make it a point of duty to write on all these political problems in the Society and suggest viable solutions to these problems.
Politics as can be defined by the Webster’s dictionary is the art and science of the government of a state opinions, principles or policies by which a person orders his participation in such affairs.
Aesthetics can also be defined as the formal study of art especially relating to the enjoyment or study of beauty. The term aesthetics can also be defined as the description of an object or a work of art that shows great beauty.
Geoffrey Poton also throws light on what the concept of politics is. He opines that politics is the way in which we understand and order our social affairs especially in relation to the allocation of scarce resources, the principle underlying this, and the means by which some people or groups acquire and maintain a greater control over the situation than others. Going by this definition, one sees that politics is above all a social activity that is concerned with people’s social and material relationships. It is varied in expression in different spatial areas and continually changing through time.
Therefore writers employ the concept of politics as part of the models or mental framework through which the writer interpret and try to understand their environment and world around them. Aesthetics is concerned with the beauty, arts, and the understanding of beautiful things.
Obafemi (2008) says “aesthetics deals with any art form and theatrical arts in particular which is a corporate multi-dimensional, multi-sensory art that depends on its social context and its audience”. This implies the sociology of the context and the other material imperatives of culture in the historical development of the country from the beginning to the present. Aesthetics can also be defined as the formal study of art especially relating to the enjoyment or study of beauty.
Politics and aesthetics in selected plays of Wole Soyinka can be viewed can be viewed to be the ways and tools Soyinka uses to beautify the plays in relation to political issues in each play.
Every writer exists within a society and as a member of such society, he preoccupies himself with issues that arise within it.
1.2PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to examine the way wole Soyinka applied cultural artifacts to political issues to depict the happenings in his immediate society. This project will evaluate and underscore the ways in which political issues are exemplified in the plays.
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