Tropes of Sacrifice in Nigerian Drama

Taye Awoyemi, Omolara Kikelomo Owoeye


Sacrifice as an integral part of the traditional people of Nigeria has been represented in Nigerian drama by different playwrights who have displayed diverse approaches, ideological stance and attitudes to the practice in their plays. The essay, through a study of selected Nigerian plays discovers that varied use of the term abound in Nigerian plays and that the obsolescent culture of ritual sacrifice of human beings has given way to self-sacrifice which may not necessarily include the termination of life. Self-sacrifice involves the giving up of one’s right, possession, benefit or even life and this is the trope that pervades the majority of modern Nigerian plays and may eventually replace human sacrifice which has gone out of public practice in real life. The treatment of these two modes of sacrifice is done in tandem with another two; the Christ sacrifice and animal sacrifice. The paper observes the issue of unwillingness on the part of the carriers as a major factor in the obliteration of human sacrifice and concludes that there is a already a shift in the focus of Nigerian writers on the issue of human sacrifice. 


Sacrifice; Drama; Culture; Tradition; Nigeria

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