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The Use of Satire in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again

The Use of Satire in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again

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This study examines the use of satire in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Rotimi’sOur Husband Has Gone Mad Again.  The study reviews that Satire is a literary device use by writers in portraying the ills and amusing ways in the society like political corruption, political disillusionment socio-political conflict and disillusionment in the society thereby wishing them corrected.

In The Lion and the Jewel for instance, the author satirically presents Lakunle as educated Africa man who stands for change by imposing a challenge with Baroka who stands for tradition on the battle for Sidi’s hand in marriage. While Rotimi on the other hand satirize Lejoka-Brown as an example of an ex-military officer in Nigeria who lacks the knowledge of politics rather than using the military strategy known as surprise and attack.

In the same vein, Lejoka-Brown rehearsing his military songs of ‘Ai Remembah when Ai was a Soljar, ‘Hippy YaYa, Hippy HippyYa-Ya. This shows a clear evidence of satire. The two texts therefore expose this amusing and the foolish behavious of the political leaders in Nigerian society. It was concluded that if education and society should get rid of societal vices; there will be a tremendous transformation of the global economy.

The Use of Satire in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again



1.1     Background to the study

Literature has been defined variously by literary scholars. To Agada, literature is a mirror of life which the society views itself through the application of literature skill. It is also seen as a symbol of means creativity, an enjoyable end product of man’s artistic labour.

Oloruntoba see literature as any written material or any other material whose features lend themselves to literary appreciation, appraisal (206). In addition, literature of reflects society and also sharpens our view of society and it ultimately shapes humanity. Through literature, we are introduced to new words of experience, we learn about books and with literature, we enjoy comedies and tragedies of poems, stories, plays and we may even grow and evolve through our literary journey with books.

On the other hand, literature is a term used to describe written materials. It is on this light the study aimed at examining the use of Satire in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Ritimi’s Our Husband Has come Mad Again.

Satire is a piece of writing in which certain practices, concepts, ideas, events and attitudes are made fun as way of drawing attention to them as immoral, unwholesome or condemnable. To writer like Samuel Johnson, Satire is a poem in which wickedness or folly is a censured (26).

In the same vein, Charles sander posits thus:

Satire dispels illusion that a man needs to live on. This is because, it deals with the happenings in our contemporary society… it runs the risk of living only a short life (15) From the foregoing, Charles is in the notion that satire is said to offer neither the escape of comedy nor the purgation of tragedy. It is also a mixture of unresolved irritating pleasure.

1.2     Statement of the problem

Satire is a literary device which an artiste uses for social criticism by showcasing contemporary ills in the society thereby wishing them corrected. Consequently, it is on this view that Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotimi explore the use of satire and how it enable them to portrays what goes around in the various societies of the world today.

1.3     Purpose of the study 

The thrust of this research is to examine the use of satire in Soyinka’s The Lion and theJewel and Ola RotimisOur Husband Has Come Mad Again.

1.4     Significance of the study 

This research will be of significance to students of English and literature to understand the meaning of Satire and reason why male and female writers use Satire as a piece of writing in portraying some foolish, immoral attitudes of people in African societies.

1.5     Research Methodology

This research work will use Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Rotimi’sOur Husband has Come Mad Again as its primary sources, while the secondary sources of the work will be focus on information from internet, articles, academic journals, library and other African literary books for more information on the research work.

1.6     Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of this research will be limited to Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Rotimi’sOur Husband Has Gone Mad Again.

1.7     Objectives of the study

 The objectives of the study are

(i)      to examine the use of satire by Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and RotimisOur Husband Has Gone Mad Again.

(ii)      to know and understand the meaning of satire and the problems on individuals in the Nigerian society.

(iii)     to highlight the use of satire for change as portrayed the two plays under investigation.

 1.8     Bio-Data of Wole Soyinka

Soyinka was born in Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka on 13 July, 1934. He was born to a Yoruba family in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He was awarded the 1986 Noble price in literature, and was also the first African to be honoured in that category. After studying in Nigeria and the UK, and also worked with the Royal Court theatre in London. He took an active role in Nigeria’s political history and he struggle for independence from Great Britain.

In 1965, he seized that Western Nigeria broadcasting service studio and broadcast a demand for the cancellation of the Western Nigeria Region Elections. In 1967, Soyinka was arrested by the Federal Government of General Yakuba Gown during the Nigerian Civil War and put in solitary confinement for two years.

Soyinka studied English literature, Greek and Western History while at the University, Soyinka and six others founded pirates confrontanity, on to corruption and Justice seeking student organization, the first confrontanity in Nigeria. Later in 1984, Soyinka relocated to England, where he continued his studies in English literature, under the supervision of his mentor, Wilson Knight at the University of Leeds, 1954-1957.

Before defending his B.A, Soyinka began publishing source plays, and also worked as an editor for the satirical magazine entitled the Eagle.  He writes a column on academic life, often criticizing his University Peers. After graduating, he remained in Leeds University with the intention of earning an M.A, degree. Soyinka is a Nigerian writer, notable especially as a play wrighter and poet.

He published the following plays;

Keffi’s Birthday treat  1954, the Invention 1957, The Swamp Dwellers 1958, A Quality of Violence  1959, The Lion and the Jewel 1959, The Trials of Brother Jero,  A Dance of the forest 1960, My father’s Burden 1960, The Strong Breed  1964, Kongi’s Harvest  1964, The Road  1965. He was also a professor of cooperation literature.

1.9     Bio-data of Ola Rotimi 

Ola Rotimi was born on the 13 April, 1938. He was the son of Samuel Enitan Rotimi, a Youba steam –lunch engineer. Rotimi attended St. Cyprian’s school in Port Harcourt from 1945 to 1949 and St. Jude’s school, Lagos. Rotimi travelled to United Stated in 1959 to study at Baston University, where he obtained a BA in fine arts. In 1965, Rotimi married to Huzel Mac Guadreau who also studied at Boston University. In 1966, Rotimi obtained an m. A from Yale school of Drama then he earned the distinction of being a Pockeffeller foundation scholar in playwriting and dramatic literature.

Rotimi as a playwright had examined the Nigeria’s history and local traditions in his works. The following are Rotimi’s selected plays: To Stir the God of Iron 1963The Gods Are Not to Blame 1968, Kurunmi 1969, Holding talks 1970, OvonramvemNoybaisi1971, Invitation into madness 1973, AbassaYemi 1977, A tragedy of the ruled 1979, Our Husband has Gone mad Again  1966, and Hopes of the Living Deaths 1985.

1.10   Definition of terms       

Satire is a literary device which an artiste uses for social criticism by showcasing contemporary ills in the society by making them corrected.

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