The Lion and the Jewel PDF Free Download: A Review of Wole Soyinka's Classic Play
If you are looking for a PDF version of The Lion and the Jewel, a famous play by Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of what this play is about, why it is important, and how you can download it for free. We will also provide you with a summary and an analysis of the play, as well as some frequently asked questions.
The Lion and the Jewel is one of the best-known plays by Wole Soyinka, who is widely regarded as one of Africa's most influential writers. It was first performed in 1959 at the Ibadan Arts Theatre in Nigeria, and published in 1962 by Oxford University Press. It is set in the Yoruba village of Ilujinle, where a conflict arises between tradition and modernity, represented by two men who are vying for the hand of Sidi, a beautiful village girl.
What is The Lion and the Jewel about?
The Lion and the Jewel is a comedy that revolves around a love triangle between Sidi, Lakunle, and Baroka. Sidi is the jewel of the village, admired by everyone for her beauty. Lakunle is a young school teacher who has been influenced by Western education and culture. He wants to marry Sidi, but he refuses to pay her bride price, which he considers a barbaric custom. He also wants her to adopt his modern ways, such as wearing European clothes and speaking English. Baroka is the bale (chief) of the village, who is old but crafty and powerful. He already has many wives, but he desires Sidi as his latest conquest. He uses his cunning and his authority to outwit Lakunle and win Sidi's heart.
Why is The Lion and the Jewel important?
The Lion and the Jewel is important because it explores the value of traditional Yoruba ways and European innovations. It shows how both can coexist harmoniously or clash violently, depending on how they are used or abused. It also challenges some stereotypes about African culture, such as the oppression of women or the backwardness of rural life. It portrays African characters as complex, dynamic, and humorous, rather than as passive, static, or tragic. It also celebrates African art forms, such as music, dance, poetry, and storytelling.
Summary of The Lion and the Jewel
The Lion and the Jewel consists of three parts: Morning, Noon, and Night. Each part depicts a different stage in the struggle between Lakunle and Baroka for Sidi's love.
Morning: The School Teacher and the Village Belle
The play opens with Sidi carrying a pail of water on her head. She is followed by Lakunle, who tries to take the pail from her. He also tries to kiss her, but she slaps him. She mocks him for his Western clothes and manners, which make him look ridiculous in her eyes. She also accuses him of being stingy for not paying her bride price. Lakunle argues that he loves her sincerely, and that he wants to liberate her from ignorance and superstition. He tells her that she should be grateful for his offer of marriage, which would elevate her status from a mere village girl to a civilized woman.
Sidi ignores his words and shows him a magazine that has arrived in the village. It contains photos of her taken by a foreign photographer who visited Ilujinle recently. She is proud of her fame and beauty, which have spread beyond her village. She tells Lakunle that he should pay her bride price now that she is more valuable than ever. Lakunle dismisses the magazine as a trivial thing that will soon be forgotten. He says that Sidi's beauty will fade with time, and that she should value his intellect more than her appearance.
Sidi leaves Lakunle to join a group of village girls who are going to see Baroka's latest wrestling match. Lakunle follows her reluctantly.
Noon: The Bale and the Head Wife
The scene shifts to Baroka's bedroom, where he is lying on a bed with his favourite wife beside him. He complains that he has lost his manhood and that he can no longer satisfy his wives. He blames his impotence on his age and on his worries about the modernization of his village. He fears that his authority will be undermined by Lakunle's school, by Night: The Dance of the Lost Traveller
It is night time and the villagers are gathered for a festival. Sidi arrives dressed in her finest clothes and jewelry. She tells Lakunle that she is going to Baroka's palace to mock him for his impotence. Lakunle tries to stop her, but she ignores him. She says that she will come back to him after she has humiliated Baroka.
At Baroka's palace, Sadiku welcomes Sidi and leads her to Baroka's bedroom. She tells her that Baroka is waiting for her and that he has prepared a special surprise for her. Sidi enters the room and sees Baroka lying on a bed with a stamping machine beside him. He tells her that he is making stamps for the village letters. He shows her some of his stamps, which depict scenes from his life and achievements. He says that he wants to make a stamp with Sidi's image on it.
Sidi is flattered by Baroka's attention and compliments. She forgets her plan to mock him and becomes curious about his life and his hobbies. Baroka tells her that he likes wrestling, hunting, carving, and poetry. He recites some of his poems for her and asks her to join him in a wrestling match. Sidi agrees and they wrestle on the bed. Baroka manages to pin Sidi down and kisses her. Sidi realizes too late that she has been tricked by Baroka and Sadiku. She cries out for help, but no one hears her.
The next morning, Lakunle is waiting for Sidi outside Baroka's palace. He hopes that she has changed her mind and decided to marry him without the bride price. He sees Sidi coming out of the palace, looking sad and ashamed. He runs to her and embraces her, but she pushes him away. She tells him that she has lost her virginity to Baroka and that she has to marry him now. Lakunle is shocked and angry. He accuses Sidi of betraying him and being a whore.
Sidi tells Lakunle that she still loves him, but she cannot marry him now that she has been deflowered by Baroka. She says that she has no choice but to accept Baroka's proposal, which he made to her after he seduced her. She says that Baroka is not impotent, but rather a cunning liar who used Sadiku to spread a false rumor about his condition. She says that Sadiku was also fooled by Baroka, who told her that he had lost his manhood after sleeping with her.
Lakunle is devastated and furious. He calls Sidi a fool and a slave. He says that he will never marry her now that she has been tainted by Baroka. He says that he will find another woman who is more modern and educated than Sidi. He says that he will leave the village and go to Lagos, where he will be appreciated for his progressive ideas.
Sidi begs Lakunle to stay with her and forgive her. She says that she still prefers him over Baroka, but she cannot disobey the village traditions. She says that Lakunle is the only man who ever kissed her and made her feel something new and wonderful. She says that she will always remember him and love him.
Lakunle rejects Sidi's pleas and walks away from her. Sidi is left alone, crying and regretting her mistake.
Analysis of The Lion and the Jewel
The Lion and the Jewel is a play that explores the themes of tradition vs modernity, gender roles and power, culture and identity, through the characters and conflicts of Sidi, Lakunle, and Baroka.
Themes and Symbols
Tradition vs Modernity
The main theme of the play is the clash between tradition and modernity in post-colonial Nigeria. The play shows how different characters react to the changes brought by Western influence and education in their village.
Lakunle represents modernity in the play. He is a schoolteacher who has been educated in Western ways and values. He rejects the customs and beliefs of his own culture as barbaric and backward. He wants to marry Sidi without paying the bride price, which he considers a form of slavery for women. He also wants Sidi to dress in European clothes, speak English, abandon her religion, and become his equal partner in a modern marriage.
Baroka represents tradition in the play. He is the bale (chief) of the village who has many wives Gender Roles and Power
Another theme of the play is the role and power of men and women in the society. The play shows how gender norms and expectations shape the characters' behavior and choices.
Sidi represents the traditional role of women in the play. She is valued for her beauty and fertility, but not for her intelligence or agency. She is expected to marry a man who can pay her bride price and provide for her. She is also subject to the authority and whims of men, such as Lakunle and Baroka, who try to control her and manipulate her.
Lakunle represents the modern role of women in the play. He wants Sidi to be his equal partner in a modern marriage. He wants her to be educated, liberated, and independent. He also respects her consent and does not force himself on her. However, he also has some sexist views and attitudes, such as belittling Sidi's intelligence and culture, or expecting her to be grateful for his offer of marriage.
Baroka represents the patriarchal role of men in the play. He is the bale (chief) of the village who has many wives and concubines. He exercises his power and influence over everyone, especially women. He uses his cunning and his authority to outwit Lakunle and seduce Sidi. He also lies about his impotence to trick Sadiku and Sidi.
Sadiku represents the subversive role of women in the play. She is Baroka's first wife and head of the harem. She acts as a matchmaker for Baroka and helps him find new brides and concubines. She is loyal to Baroka, but she also has some resentment and bitterness towards him. She tries to undermine his power by spreading a false rumor about his impotence. She also celebrates with Sidi when they think they have defeated Baroka.
Culture and Identity
A third theme of the play is the impact of culture and identity on the characters' sense of self and belonging. The play shows how different characters embrace or reject their own culture and identity in relation to Western influence.
Sidi identifies strongly with her Yoruba culture and identity. She is proud of her beauty and fame, which are derived from her traditional values and customs. She rejects Lakunle's Western ideas and manners, which she finds ridiculous and offensive. She also respects Baroka's authority and tradition, which she accepts as part of her culture.
Lakunle identifies strongly with Western culture and identity. He is ashamed of his Yoruba culture and identity, which he considers barbaric and backward. He adopts Western ideas and manners, which he thinks are superior and progressive. He also challenges Baroka's authority and tradition, which he sees as oppressive and outdated.
Baroka identifies with both Yoruba and Western culture and identity. He is proud of his Yoruba culture and identity, which he preserves and protects as the bale (chief) of the village. He also adapts to Western culture and identity, which he uses to his advantage and enjoyment. He has a stamping machine, a telephone, a bathroom, a library, and a knowledge of poetry.
The Lion and the Jewel is a play that depicts the conflict between tradition and modernity in post-colonial Nigeria through a love triangle between Sidi, Lakunle, and Baroka. The play explores the themes of tradition vs modernity, gender roles Conclusion
The Lion and the Jewel is a play that depicts the conflict between tradition and modernity in post-colonial Nigeria through a love triangle between Sidi, Lakunle, and Baroka. The play explores the themes of tradition vs modernity, gender roles and power, culture and identity, through the characters and conflicts of Sidi, Lakunle, and Baroka. The play also uses various symbols and literary devices, such as images, language, trickery, song, and dance, to convey its message and humor. The play ends with Sidi choosing to marry Baroka, who represents tradition, over Lakunle, who represents modernity. This suggests that Soyinka is not advocating for a complete rejection of tradition or a blind acceptance of modernity, but rather for a balance and a dialogue between the two.
Here are some frequently asked questions about The Lion and the Jewel:
Q: When was The Lion and the Jewel written and published?A: The Lion and the Jewel was written in 1959 and first performed at the Ibadan Arts Theatre in Nigeria. It was published in 1962 by Oxford University Press.
Q: Who is Wole Soyinka?A: Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian writer, poet, playwright, Nobel laureate, and political activist. He is widely regarded as one of Africa's most influential writers and one of the greatest living dramatists in the world.
Q: What is the setting of The Lion and the Jewel?A: The Lion and the Jewel is set in the Yoruba village of Ilujinle in Nigeria. The play takes place over one day, divided into three parts: Morning, Noon, and Night.
Q: What is the significance of the title The Lion and the Jewel?A: The title The Lion and the Jewel refers to the two main male characters and their relationship with Sidi. Baroka is the lion, who is strong, cunning, and powerful. He is also the bale (chief) of the village. Sidi is the jewel, who is beautiful, precious, and desired by everyone. She is also the village belle. Lakunle is neither a lion nor a jewel. He is a schoolteacher who has been influenced by Western culture and education.
Q: What is the main conflict in The Lion and the Jewel?A: The main conflict in The Lion and the Jewel is between tradition and modernity, represented by Baroka and Lakunle respectively. They both want to marry Sidi, who has to choose between them. The conflict also reflects the larger social and cultural changes that Nigeria was undergoing at the time of its independence from Britain.