Drama has been the most popular of genres of literature since the advent of time. No one knows for sure from how and where it originated. Greeks were the first ones to preserve the script of their drama in the written form for later generations to enjoy. Aristotle laid out the rules for a perfect tragedy and described a comedy. And yet drama has gone through many transitions since the time of Aristotle and almost each decade has seen a new form of drama emerging. It is thus apt to say that we have come a long way from Greek tragedies and the way it is developing everyday we can see that we still have a long way to go.
Every writer that creates a play has his own unique style that an experience eye can pick out as a trade mark. Each dramatist displays his grasp of the technicalities of drama and a bit of his own personality through his play. Together these two form the ‘style’ of the writer. African Literature that is one of the most critically acclaimed post colonial literatures has many writers who have a flair for using experimental stylistic techniques which encompasses the traditional dramatic technique and their unique African experience.
Soyinka a man of many trades and talents has a dynamic personality and his plays are a reflection of that. In his plays he employs various post modernistic dramatic techniques mixed with bits and pieces from African tradition and symbolist drama. The Lion and the Jewel can be studied as a classic example of various stylistic techniques that he uses time and again.
The set of the play follows the Shakespearian pattern and the backdrop is kept simple and free of symbols. There is no elaborate use of props and there is a marked difference from the style of Ibsen and O’Casey. As the curtains open we see the village centre but not many words have been wasted in giving the description of the space that is present around his characters, which are his main concern. On the most part he leave...