This research endeavour focuses on the social and political ills prevalent in the African societies with the view of correcting them thus, making the contemporary society a better place to live. Using two texts from renowned Nigeria writer, we see the economic, social and political evils which morally degrade our society and the community at last. These evils are being satirized to bring about transformation. Here, the sociological approach is employed. The quota sampling system is use in this research work, brings out the religious hypocrisy, moral decadence, marital imbalance and corruption palpable a savage, portrait of group of dictatorial African leader at (bay in an embassy) in our text of study. This study brings out the evil inherent in African socio-political system and calls for a change especially in a society.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contentsvii
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 Aims/Purpose of Study 12
1.2 Justification 13
1.3 Significance of the Study14
1.4 Scope and Limitation15
1.6 Sociological Theory18
2.0 The Nature of Satire21
2.1 Types of Satire30
3.0 Critical Analysis of “The Trials of Brother Jero”38
3.1 Satiric Vision in The Trials of Brother Jero47
3.2 The Thematic Pre-Occupation of the Play67
4.0 Critical Analysis of “A Play of a Giants”71
4.1 Main Theme: Dictatorship 77
4.5 Use of Literary Devices79
It is generally conceived by many scholars, that literature mirrors the society. However, literature goes beyond just mirroring the society to depict various aspects of human life.
The social, political, economical, religions and historical aspects of human lives are portrayed through literature. Basically, there are three major genres of literature, poetry prose and drama.
For the sake of this study, we shall concentrate on the dramatic generic form of literature and the social mediation.
Drama represents life in a more distinctive way. It educates, entertains, orientates and satirizes. Drama originates from the Greek worship of gods in the classical period as a form of ritual.
This research concentrates on the concept of satire used by African playwrights (using Wole Soyinka as case studies) to effect societal transformation.
Satire according to the Dictionary of Literary Terms (1977) is a literary work intended to arouse ridicule, contempt and follies of man and his institutions. It is also aimed at correcting malpractice by inspiring both indignation and laughter with a mixture of criticism and wit. The concept of satire is invented from the act of mockery or ridiculous, to correct the ills of the society.
Satire is any piece of writing that uses devices such as irony. A text or performance that uses irony, derision or wit to expose or attack human vice, foolishness or stupidity.
To buttress this, George Ostler in Oxford Dictionary, Opines that Satire is a composition which vice or folly is tended up to ridicule.
Sarcasm or irony is used to expose absurdity. The essence of satire therefore is to ridicule the ills of an individual or institution with the aim of correcting and transforming the society. Satire helps to mould individuals character and it also exposes the point of weakness of particular society. Social and political satire is prominent in this particular Wole Soyinka’s work see in Wole Soyinka. Trial of Brother Jero and A play of Giant selected Dramatext above. He treated social satire obtainable in the contemporary Nigeria society.
According to Shorter Oxford Dictionary. Satire is a thing, fact or circumstance that has the effect of making some person or thing ridiculous. It is employed to mock or cause the actions of man or his beliefs. According to the Collins Dictionary of English Language is a novel play, entertainment etc in which typical issues, follies, or evils are held up to scorn by means of ridicule and irony.
Jessie Coulson, describes Satire as:
“Satire is a composition in which folly or vice is held up to ridicule, use of ridicule, sarcasm or irony to expose folly”.
Satire is a literary technique which principally ridicules its subject which includes individuals, organization or states often as an intended means of provoking or preventing changes. Satire can be said to be both a specific literary genre, and a literary manner. As a literary genre, it is said to have reference to a poetic form which was originated in the 2nd century B.C Persuis, Juveral and Quritilian. This is to say that Satire was initially often Quintilian that it required a general application to other forms of literary expression and verbal expression.
Alexander Pope also affirms with the duty that Satire performs to a man which is used to check the excesses of man to inform man and denounce his follies or vices. He believes strongly in the effects of satire. He says:
“Know nothing that moves strongly satire and those who are shamed of nothing else are so of being ridiculous”.
As a literary manner, Satire is concerned with ridiculing human and institutional follies with the intention of correcting them.
Satire may be presented in the mode of allegory and also mode imitation through pictures and caricatures, it is indicious treatment of subjects in a dramatic fashion, also in the mode of Lampoon which is explained as the act in which an individual is represented in a virulent way, this makes it a subject of a laughter. In the mode of irony which is explained as a situation whereby the intended meaning is the opposite of that expressed by the word used.
In the mode of irony which is explained as a situation whereby the word used. In the mode of Allegy which is the presentation of a subject to represent meaning
In the mode of Allegy which is the presentation of a subject to represent another one where they both share similar features. The most effective mode of Satire is sarcasm which is defined as a sharp, biting or cutting expression of remark. It can also be in the form of a bitter glibe or taunt. The satire here tends to be direct and hard on the subject of discourse. On the other hand, it may be through the mode of humour which is explained to be the presentation. Finally, satire can be presented through force, a situation whereby metaphorical language or expressions are used to mock.
The whole question of the responsibility of the artist to the society is perhaps as old as the responsibility of the artist to the posed as the relationship between the artist and the public or as the functions of the artist or the relationship between art and the society the function remains unchanged. It is therefore in the attempt at unveiling the great role of Artists in the society that we come across the concept of satire. Satire can be described as a means or mechanism by which a novelist, artist or dramatist aims at exposing the ills and vices in the society such as corruption, injustice, lust for materialism, moral and spiritual bankrupt and exploitation of all forms, political and socio-economic
Fallacij Roget Fowler Subiruts that satire is a
Genre defined primarily but not
Exclusively in terms of its inner
Form in it the author attacks
Some subjects using it as his menns,
Wit or humour that is either
Fantastic or absurd
Therefore, Satire is employed to mock or censor the actions of man or his belief, it is also used to assess the state of man in his society and to create a difference between the present situation and the ideal situation. Satiractries to expose the abuse of a system and the actors involved. The best satire is concerned with the nature of reality and unlike other arts which emphasizes what appears to be real but is not. It always pretends to be something other than what is really is.
We read satire because it gives pleasure. Some scholars have course to disagreed on the kind of pleasure.
It give us. Some critics suggest that the pleasure is a moral one. Just as one would agree with the former opinion, it is important to say that satire does not give us the type of pleasure fable stories gives us, on the other hand from satirical writing we derive ethical satisfaction because through Satire, we are able to imbibe a code of conduct which we apply to our daily lives.
It is a fundamental and basic fact that satire entails more than exposing societal ills and vices. Satire is a literary response to life in the city, its basic cynicism and especially its political nature seen to require an urban culture to spawn and thrives.
There are other less sophisticated kinds of verbal and literary vitrid; flyting and invective. What might be best described as creative name calling, occur almost universally but satire proper derives from a periodic association between literature and the hypocricy of civil behaviour. While the term itself has its etymological roots in the Latin Satura meaning a full or mixed dish in the sense of a cacophonous variety, the Greeks had rich satiric tradition especially evident in the Athenian old comedy which played scatologically with the pretentious behaviour of particular contemporary citizens recognizable to the Audience. Aristophanes Lampoons on Socrates and Euripides are prominent examples. The great Roman poet Horace and Juveral set the literary standards for European satire, their best work being much imitated models even well into the 20th century. They also lend their names to the two essential types of satire which are the Horatian who is the gentler kind, which exposes human folly to correct it and thus strengthens the social fabric and Juvenalian is harsh, even abusive and sees little chance of social progress. Horace and Juvenal use language that is colloquial and contemporary people and current issues.
These remain the distinguishing elements of Satire which is colloquial and contemporary, immediate and recognizably real in style and subject.
In a peculiar way satire’s generic qualities and social motives are very close to those of the essay. The satirist, like the essaylist is intensely aware of his or her subjectivity and attempts to engage the readers on a personal and even conversational level. In both genres, the dominant impression is one of immediacy of a face to face exchange in which opinion and interpretation take procedure over fact and objectivity. The attitude is casual, however changed with message.
Satire is a genre of literature. According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993), Satire can be inform of a poem, prose or composition. In which prevailing vices or follies are held up to ridicule.
A thing, fact or circumstance that has the effect of making some person or thing ridiculous. Satire is employed, to mock or censure the action of man or institution in the society.
Also, the Encyclopedia American (1829) defines satire as both a specific literary genre and literary manner. As a genre it has reference to poetic form originated in the 2nd century by Roman Satirist Lacillius. It was practiced with distinction by his successor Horace, Persius and Juvenal.
As a literary manner, the follies, vices and crimes of a person or an institution are held up to ridiculous or scorn with the intention of correcting them.
From the above definitions, we can say that satire is every expression that makes fun of an institution or an individual by drawing the attention of the people to their vices with the aim of making amendments. Satire is a major tool in bringing about societal transformation.
Satire originates from ‘Satura’ a Latin word which means ‘medley’ or ‘mixtured’ – satirical usages have being part of the folk culture since the early communities. It featured in the Greek Culture as it was specifically located within a Grecian fertility rite. The first satirist was Acholochus. He was said to have been so savage that his target one Lycambas and his daughter hanged themselves.
Furthermore, the remain rhetorician Quintillians established Satire as a ‘Roman Phenomenon’. He claims “Satire is our own in his words “Satura totanoshraest-Qum”. By these, he was referring to lucillus poetic practice who was a contemporary of his works had a considerable influence on Horace one of the keg figures in the development of satire persius was influenced by Horace.
To Horace satire is urbane, the satirist smiles at the foibles of his fellow men without indignation. Juvenal satire is harsh. The satirist is an enraged moralist. Who denounces the vices and corruption of his fellowmen. Satire here is bitter and commading.
The pre-independent African society had satire in its arts- A typical example is the poetry of the Yorubas called “Ewi”-The Elewi, satirist ridicule people and institutions. Element of satire can be seen in their proverbs, riddles and jokes. After independence. However, Satire assumed a different phrase in the Contemporary African society. It became very popular as it is being used to attack theme of neo-colonialism, corruption, hypocrisy, ignorance and administration and other vices. Narrowing it down to Nigeria, we have a lot of artist who are satirist in their writings. Such writers are Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe. In his A man of the people Ken Sarowiwa Prisoners of Jebs, Olu Obafemi in the, The New Dawn Ola Rotimi etc.
According to IRF Gordan (1976) Horace’s approach to Satire is the one that tells the truth better with laughter while Juvenal states that their anger make him to write satire.
In the 17th century satire marked the highest point in English literature through the works of Dryden, Alaxander Pope, Jonathan Swift etc. They attack materialism, hypocrisy, pride, cruelty and political experience in the works.
From the Horatian or Juvenalism concept of satire as a sting that is deep and sharp and thus, it produces result; transformation. In the 19th century we talk about other satirist as Jane Austen, Thomas Peacock, Samuel Butter, Bettoit Brecht etc.
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