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Analysis of the Play: 'The Lion and the Jewel'

The Lion and the Jewel is a comedic-dramatic play that revolves around four major characters: Baroka (the elderly chief of Illunjire), Lankule (the young headmaster of a primary school), Sidi (the most beautiful girl in the village) and Sadiku (the eldest wife of Baroka).The playwright, Wole Soyinka depicts Baroka as a cunning fox, Lankule as an arrogant teacher, Sidi as an egotistical young village girl and Sadiku as a simple-minded elderly woman.

Significance of the Play

A lion is an animal which is revered because of its majestic movement and its title as the king of the jungle. It can hunt both the smaller and larger preys.

A jewel is a beautiful ornament worn around the neck. It complements women’s beauty when they adorn it on their necks.

In the play, Baroka commands an aura of authority thus fitting the title of a lion. Sidi is the jewel of Illunjire because of her unrivalled beauty.

The play is a story of an elderly man ‘hunting’ a beautiful girl to diminish her rising influence in the village which is threatening his authoritative influence in the village.

Character Analysis


He is an elderly chief in his early sixties. He is the Bale of Illunjire, a village in Nigeria.

Baroka is a polygamist. When Sidi refuses Baroka’s offer to be his next wife, Sadiku convinces her to accept Baroka’s invitation for supper. Sidi reacts to Sadiku’s statement, “...Do you think I was only born yesterday? The tales of Baroka’s little suppers, I know all...Can you deny that every woman who has sapped with him one night, becomes his wife or concubine the next.” This shows the polygamous nature of Baroka. Sidi joins the list of Baroka’s wives replacing the youngest, Ailatu as Baroka’s favourite wife. Sadiku leads the lot as the eldest wife of Baroka.

He is as cunning as a fox. Lankule wonders what women see in Baroka. His eyes are small and always red with wine (drunkard). He figures the chief possesses some secret. Sidi’s response to Sadiku that young women who attend Baroka’s supper invitation end up as wives or concubines is a testament of Baroka’s craftiness. In another embodiment Baroka deceives Sadiku he is impotent. He knows well his wife is a gossipmonger. He warns her not to reveal the secret to anyone but Sadiku reveals it to Sidi. Sidi takes upon herself to mock Baroka’s sterility by pretending she is repentant of not having agreed to Baroka’s invitation for supper. Nonetheless, Sidi comes out of the place no longer the valued jewel of the village (no longer a virgin).

He is hungry for power. He resorts to bribing the white surveyor sent by the Ministry of Public Works. Baroka is afraid of what might ensue once the Ministry of Public Works builds a railroad along the village. He knows once the project begins (or is completed) his office will cease to exist.


Lankule, an educated young African man who has embraced western values seeks to modernize his village of Illunjire. He wants his village to attain the same economic and technological status as the capital city of Nigeria, Lagos. He distastes the village’s traditional practices which he terms as a ‘savage custom, barbaric, out-dated, rejected, denounced, accursed, excommunicated, archaic, degrading, humiliating, unspeakable, redundant, retrogressive, remarkable and unpalatable.’

Lankule is puffed up in arrogance owing to his educational status, which is limited, in the village and his knowledge, which is also limited, pertaining to western culture.

His reasoning when arguing with Sidi about the analytical mind of women delineates his level of education and understanding. He tells Sidi “...as a woman, you have a smaller brain than mine.” Sidi asks him, “Just what gives you these thoughts of manly conceit.” Lankule replies in a patronizing voice that she can’t draw him into arguments which go above her head

When Sidi demands Lankule to give him the pail of water, Lankule says, “Please, don’t be angry with me. I didn’t mean you in particular. And anyway, it isn’t what I say. The scientists have proved it. It’s in my books. Women have a smaller brain than men. That’s why they are called a weaker sex.” This depicts Lankule as lacking in intelligence (understanding) positioning him as semi-illiterate. His lack of critical analysis of the books he has read has blinded his interpretation forcing him to accept what is contrary to the authors’ intended meaning.

He enjoys the taste of gossip, something he must have noticed in Lagos. He tells Sadiku, “We’ll print newspapers every day with pictures of seductive girls. The world will judge our progress by the girls that win beauty contests. While Lagos builds new factories daily we only play ‘ayo’ and gossip.”

Lastly, he has a sense of humour. He dislikes the customs of his village. He deems them as backward. This, he does by using synonymous words to justify his disregard of the traditional practices of his village. He terms the customs of his village as ‘savage, barbaric, out-dated, rejected, denounced, accursed, excommunicated, archaic, degrading, humiliating, unspeakable, redundant, retrogressive, remarkable and unpalatable.’ Sidi asks him whether his bag is empty the reason he has stopped using tantamount words to describe the customs of his village. Lankule responds, “I own only the Shorter Companion Dictionary, but I have ordered the Longer One - you wait!”


She is the most beautiful girl in the village.

Despite her beauty she is naive. She doesn’t realize Baroka has set a trap by deceiving Sadiku that his manhood has failed. Her lack of analyzing Sadiku’s statement that Baroka can no longer impregnate a woman leads her to Baroka’s palace; her intention to mock him. Sidi can’t match against Baroka who has seen a lot, learned a lot and knows many things.

Sidi is a traditionalist. She sticks to traditional practices unlike Lankule. She is adamant that Lankule should pay the bride price. Even after Baroka defiles her, she still refuses Lankule’s offer to marry her without the need of paying the bride price. In addition, Sidi isn’t interested in becoming the modern woman Lankule wants her to be. She loathes kissing which she terms as unclean.

She is egotistic. Her realization of the fact she’s exquisite leads her to believe beauty revolves around her. She is obsessed with her beauty to the point she considers herself more important than Baroka and Lankule. Sidi becomes proud because of the positive review she gets from the villagers about her beauty as seen in the magazines distributed by the stranger in the village. She even enjoys taking pleasure in taunting Lankule by telling him she doesn’t think she would want to get married by someone like him. “... Known as I am to the whole wide world, I would demean my worth to wed a mere village school teacher.”

Top Tip For Analysing Drama


Sadiku is the eldest wife of Baroka. She has remained faithful to Baroka for forty years despite Baroka’s appetite for more wives and concubines.

Sadiku is simpleminded. Baroka uses her as a ‘tool’ to find women to satisfy his appetite for young girls who are ‘fresh’ and their blood is ‘hot.’ Lankule rebukes Sadiku for accepting to be Baroka’s messenger. “... For though you’re nearly seventy, your mind is simple and unformed...You spend your days as a senior wife, collecting brides for Baroka...”

She is also uneducated. This is seen when Lankule rebukes her for allowing Sidi to head to Baroka’s palace to mock him. Lankule admonishes her, “This is my plan, you withered face and I shall start by teaching you. From now you shall attend my school and take your place with twelve-year olds. For though you’re nearly seventy, your mind is simple and unformed. Have you no shame at your age, you neither read nor write nor think...”


1. Bride Price

Lankule, the young African man who has embraced western culture considers the traditional customs in his village as barbaric and savage.

Even though he loves Sidi, he doesn’t want to pay the bride price. He tells Sidi that paying the dowry is the same as buying a heifer off the market stall. It translates to owning Sidi for she’ll no longer be a life companion but a property to him.

However, Sidi is adamant that he has to pay the dowry. She insists she doesn’t want to become the talk in the village. “But I tell you Lankule, I must have the full bride-price. Will you make me a laughing-stock...But Sidi will not make herself a cheap bowl for the village spit...They will say I was no virgin that I was forced to sell my shame and marry you without a price.”

After Baroka succeeds in ‘sleeping’ with Sidi, Lankule jumps at the opportunity. She’s no longer a virgin therefore he doesn’t have to pay the bride price.

2. Polygamy

At the age of sixty-two, Baroka has many wives and countless concubines under his pocket. While we don’t know how many wives Baroka has, it is apparent from Sidi’s response to Sadiku that he has many wives. When Sadiku convinces Sidi to be Baroka’s next wife, Sidi refuses. Subsequently, she asks Sidi to attend Baroka’s personal invitation to his supper meal. Sidi reminds Sadiku of a fact concerning Baroka: “Can you deny that every woman who has sapped with him one night becomes his wife or concubine the next?” Lankule supports Sidi’s response by stating there is a reason Baroka is called a cunning fox.

The mere mention of Sadiku as the eldest wife of Baroka and Ailatu as the youngest wife builds the evidence Baroka is a polygamist. Sidi becomes Baroka’s latest wife earning the title of ‘Favourite’ which was entitled to Ailatu.

African woman

African woman

3. Modernity vs. Tradition

There is a conflict between the people of Illunjire village who have accepted western culture (modern life) versus those who want to stick with the village’s traditional practices.

Lankule symbolizes the villagers who have embraced modern life. He wants to modernize his village by introducing machines and the modern-way of life. The presence of a school in the village is a testament of a village becoming modernized.

While Sidi has learnt some English vocabularies from Lankule such as barbaric and savage, she still prefers the traditional life she is used to. She loathes kissing which she terms as unclean. She tells Lankule that he should go to the places where women understand his modern plans and tell them of his plans, not her.

While Baroka recognizes the benefits of embracing modernity in his village, he fights against it knowing the ramifications it will have on him. He fears his office might be replaced with a higher office. The fact he owns a stamping machine shows he values modernity to some extent.

While some people consider modernity as a blessing, there are people who don’t embrace it for various reasons. Some villagers like Lankule desire a modern way-of-life, the reason he wants Illunjire to be a replica of Lagos, the capital city of Nigeria.

4. Corruption (Bribery)

When Baroka learns the Ministry of Public Works has sent a surveyor to establish whether a railroad can pass through Illunjire, he bribes the surveyor. They (Baroka and surveyor) a story which he delivers to his superiors that the land is not fit for a railway line to pass through.



5. Beauty

The playwright has portrayed how beauty can threaten the status of an authoritative figure. Sidi’s beauty has spread beyond the village. This was made possible by the Lagos man who captured Sidi’s beauty in different poses. Her images were published in a magazine fulfilling the stranger’s promise to Sidi that the magazine will announce her beauty to the world. Baroka, jealous of Sidi’s rising influence plans how he will silence her by deflowering her.

In another scenario, Lankule dashes out of the class when he notices Sidi through the classroom’s window carrying a bucket of water. Two of his pupils, aged eleven, make a buzzing noise at Sidi, clapping their hands across the mouth. The attitude of the pupils depict the unmistakable beauty of Sidi.

6. Irresponsibility

Lankule is an irresponsible teacher. He dashes out of the class to meet Sidi who is carrying a pail of water on her head. He leaves the pupils reciting the arithmetic times written on the blackboard. Instead of finding an opportune time to meet Sidi, he takes the advantage he has at the moment to meet her and strike a conversation.

7. Illiteracy

Sadiku represents the many villagers who are illiterate - they can’t read or write. Sadiku’s illiteracy is manifested when Lankule rebukes her when she supports Sidi’s idea of going to Baroka’s palace to mock his sterility. He tells her, “This is my plan, you withered face and I shall start by teaching you. From now you shall attend my school and take your place with twelve-year olds. For though you’re nearly seventy, your mind is simple and informed. Have you no shame that at your age, you neither read nor write nor think?”

Structure of the Play

The play is divided into three parts: morning, afternoon and evening.

1. Morning

Lankule is teaching arithmetic times when he notices Sidi through the classroom’s window carrying a pail of water on her head. He rushes out of the class and to the opposite side. He offers to help Sidi lower the bucket but Sidi refuses. He seizes it but some water spills on him.

Lankule tells Sidi that she must stop carrying heavy loads on her head. The effect is her neck will shrink which he likens to squashed drawings of his pupils. He also complains of Sidi’s traditional way of wearing that exposes her shoulders and outline of her breasts.

Sidi has had enough of Lankule that she asks if she can take the pail. However, Lankule refuses asking her to first marry her. Sidi replies she has no problem with that. She can marry him on any day as long as he pays the bride price. Lankule refuses but Sidi insists she won’t become the laughingstock in the village.

Lankule offers the reason he can’t pay the bride price which he likens to buying a heifer off the market stalls. He describes to Sidi the married life of civilized people. He kisses her but Sidi is repelled by that behaviour terming it as unclean.

As they are talking, they hear a crowd of youth and drummers. Sidi demands Lankule to give her the bucket or else the people will jeer at her.

The girls feed Sidi with information about the lost traveller - A man from another world who speaks in a foreign accent. Sidi enquires if the stranger has returned with the magazine he had promised; a magazine that will announce Sidi’s beauty to the world.

The girls tell her the Lagos man returned with the book (magazine) and her images appear on the cover and middle leaves (pages) of the book. She learns the Bale of the village (Baroka) also appears somewhere in the book but shares his image with the village’s latrine.

They dance the dance of the Lost Traveller. Sidi assigns the young people a role to play in the dance that will retell how the Lagos man got lost and found himself in the village of Illunjire. Lankule acts as the Stranger while Sidi acts as the beautiful young woman.

The stranger was traveling somewhere when his car broke down. He restarted it but it failed. He climbed out of the car, checked the tyres and climbed in. He ignited the engine but the car didn’t give in. He picked up his camera and helmet and took a swig from his flask of whisky before putting it into his pocket. He began the trek to find a nearby village.

He heard a girl singing somewhere from the bush. He shook his head, drank his whisky again convinced he was suffering from sun-stroke. He threw the empty bottle. He heard a scream and torrents of abusive words. He tiptoed to where the female’s voice was coming from. What he saw made him unhitch his camera. Not focusing where he was stepping on as he tried to find a good position to take several pictures of the girl who was bathing in a pool of water; he plunged into the water. The young woman screamed and ran to the village with a part of her cloth covering her. The stranger followed a little later wringing out the water from his clothes. Sidi returned with the villagers who hauled the stranger off to the town centre.

Baroka, the chief of Illunjire sympathized with the stranger. He besieged the villagers not to kill him. He ordered dry clothes for him and a feast in his honour. He captured several pictures of the party and Sidi who was dancing.


Sidi is engrossed in the pictures of herself in the magazine. Following behind is Lankule who’s carrying a bundle of firewood for Sidi. Sadiku meets them on the road leading to and from the town centre.

Sadiku asks Sidi to be Baroka’s wife. Sidi asks Sadiku why Baroka is requesting for her hand after her images are published in the magazine. Why didn’t he ask her to be his wife before her beauty was exposed to the world? Since she has refused to become Baroka’s wife, Sadiku requests her to accept Baroka’s personal invitation at his homestead for an evening mean (supper). Sidi tells Sadiku that she wasn’t born the previous day. She knows Baroka’s tricks.

It is at this point Lankule reveals to Sidi the other side of Baroka. She narrates how Baroka foiled the Public Works attempt to build a railway line through Illunjire.

Baroka is lying on the bed while his life wife, Ailatu is pulling out the hairs from his armpit. She asks Baroka how she’s fairing on the task. Baroka tells her she’s being over-gentle with the pull. She tells him she will improve but Baroka tells her she shouldn’t bother about it because he intends to marry another young woman. Ailatu becomes angry. She plucks the hairs violently. Baroka orders her out of the room when Sadiku enters.

Baroka asks if she’s brought a balm because of the pain he’s feeling under his armpit. Sadiku tells him that Sidi has refused both of his proposals. She considers him old and she can’t sap with married men. Baroka is astonished to be called old. He recounts to Sadiku his youth life and how brave and strong he was. Nevertheless, he reveals to Sadiku a secret he hopes she won’t disclose to anybody. He tells her his manhood is no longer functioning. Sadiku can’t believe it. Baroka warns her not to tell anybody.

Character Analysis


Sidi is standing by the classroom window, admiring her images on the magazine. She watches Sadiku in astonishment who is oblivious of her presence. Sadiku places a curved figure of the Bale in front of the ‘Odun’ tree. She dances around the tree, chanting “Take warning, my masters we’ll scotch you in the end.”

Sidi enquires why she is behaving as an insane person. Sadiku reveals to Sidi the secret. Sidi leaps in the air, happy to hear the good news. She exclaims, “We won! We won! Hurray for womankind!” They don’t recognize Lankule who has joined their presence. They dance around the tree chanting “Take warning, my masters we’ll scotch you in the end.”

Sidi mentions to Sadiku that she wants to pay Baroka a visit. Her intention is to poke fun at Baroka’s impotency. Lankule pleads with her not to go but Sidi tells her as long as she doesn’t reveal to Baroka of the secret, she can go and ridicule Baroka.

She finds Baroka wrestling with his left man (warrior/bodyguard). Baroka asks her why she has arrived at his bedroom unannounced. She replies she didn’t find anybody at the entrance to his bedroom. Baroka laments at this intrusion.

After the wrestling match, Sidi pretends she’s repentant for the words she uttered – Baroka is old and she can’t sap with married men. She makes fun of Baroka indirectly. She tells him that maybe the man who wants to marry her can’t sire children. She says to him, “Maybe the children are plagued with shyness and refuse to come into the world.”

Baroka reveals to Sidi a stamping machine he owns. He tells Sidi the stamps will contain her images which will announce to the world her beauty. Baroka groans how people talk ill of him and how his office task is tiresome. Sidi leans on Baroka’s shoulder.

Lankule wonders why Sidi is late. It is in the evening and Sidi hasn’t returned. He thinks something bad must have happened to her.

Sidi who has been running throws herself to the ground against the tree and sobs violently. Sadiku kneels besides her and asks her what the problem is. She pushes her away. She also tells Lankule not to touch her. She tells Sadiku that Baroka had lied to her.

Suddenly, she leaves. Lankule requests Sadiku to find out where she has gone. She returns with the news Sidi is packing her things and oiling herself as a bride does before her wedding.

Sidi, accompanied by a crowd and musicians hands Lankule the magazine that contains her images. Sidi reveals to Lankule she is heading to Baroka’s place. Sidi requests Sadiku to bless her.

Questions & Answers

Question: Did Baroka pay the bride price in the play "The Lion and the Jewel"?

Answer: Baroka didn't pay the bride price. Lankule wanted to marry Sidi without paying the bride price. However, Sidi told him that she didn't want to be a laughingstock (to be laughed) in the village. People would say she wasn't a virgin.

After Baroka deflowered/defiled Sidi, Lankule jumped at the opportunity. Since Sidi wasn't virgin, there was need for him to pay the dowry.

Thus, Baroka never paid the bride price because Sidi was no longer a virgin.

Question: Did Baroka had sex with Sidi?

Answer: Yes. The evidence is that she leaned on Baroka's shoulder. Another evidence is that Lankule was happy that he was no longer required to pay a bride price for Sidi. Knowing Sidi is no longer a virgin, he jumped at that opportunity. A man is not required to pay the bride price for a girl who isn't a virgin.

Lankule tells her, "Dear Sidi, we shall forget the past. This great misfortune touches not the treasury of my love. But you will agree, it is only fair that we forget the bride-price totally since you no longer can be called a maid."

Question: What is the significance of marriage in the play "The Lion and the Jewel"?

Answer: In the play, Lankule symbolizes western or modern culture while Baroka symbolizes the traditional way-of-life. When Sidi accepts to be married to Baroka, it signifies that tradition is preferred to modern culture. Through the play, the playwright shows that even though modern life has crept in the village of Illunjire, the villagers distaste the modern life preferring their tradition.

Another thing to consider is through the marriage, Baroka not only asserts his authority as a powerful person (chief) but also proves that old men are wiser than younger men and women. Baroka managed to silence Sidi's ever-increasing popularity. He felt she was threatening his influence in the village. As a crafty person, he managed to accomplish his mission of silencing Sidi's increasing influence in the village.

Question: How was Lakunle's true love for Sidi proved after her return from Baroka's house?

Answer: Lankule loves Sidi but isn't willing to pay the bride price. He thinks it's barbaric since it would be like buying her thus becoming his property.

When Lankule learns that Sidi has been deflowered, first of all, he becomes angry before a thought pops up in his mind. He won't have to pay a bride price. This acts as a proof Lankule loves Sidi. Again, he thinks Sidi wants to get married to him very soon. He wonders why she's in a hurry only to learn she's heading to Baroka's house.

Question: What is the importance of the bride price in The Lion and Jewel?

Answer: Lankule wanted to marry Sidi without paying the bride prize. However, Sidi said that she won't accept to become a laughingstock in the village that she was married without the dowry having been paid because she wasn't a virgin.

In the play, the playwright has highlighted the reason why the bride price is highly regarded in the village. A girl whose bride price has been paid is a testament that she's a virgin. Thus, the importance of bride price in the Illunjire village is to signify that a girl is a virgin. She hasn't been defiled or deflowered.

Question: What are the benefits of the play 'The Lion and The Jewel'?

Answer: 1. The play creates a picture of how the modern culture is at odd with traditional life. They never merge as companions but as enemies. They can never be united. Lankule has embraced modern life which cannot be said of Sidi. While Lankule is against paying dowry but Sidi insists if he wants to marry her, he should pay for it.

2. It shows how cunning, clever and wise old people are. You might ridicule them but you can't beat them at how much they know and the much they've learned in their years. Sidi thought she could ridicule Baroka not knowing that she was a trapped mice. Baroka knew how she would respond and had prepared how he would take advantage of her pride mixed with innocence.

3. It shows the extreme sides of modern culture versus tradition. Both of them have negative sides thus we should embrace the positive sides.

4. Vices have no place in the society. Pride, gossip, selfishness, corruption etc don't benefit individuals and society at large. We should embrace development that will be beneficial but not detrimental.

Question: What is the significance of The Lion and The Jewel in this modern time?

Answer: The play is significant in our modern time because:

1. There is still conflict between traditional practices and modernity. Dowry price is still effective in modern Africa. Some of us feel the dowry has no place in the modern world but there are those who insist it is a right practice that should be continued. Another consideration is polygamy. It is still practiced in Africa.

2. The lion has never ceased chasing after the Jewel for its own selfish reasons. We see in modern time, old people who are married and have children are still chasing after young women and defiling them for their own selfish desires or wants

3. Lastly, there are politicians and/or officials who hold a government position who are against development and are corrupt.

Question: What does the Odan tree symbolize?

Answer: It symbolizes authority. It is a place where social services are located e.g. schools and the market. A chief's office is usually situated at such a spot.

When Sidi, Lankule and other young people were acting the coming of the stranger to the village, Baroka was sitting near the Odan tree signifying his authoritative location.

Question: Which other titles can be given to the drama?

Answer: A different title can be 'The Chief and The Beautiful Daughter of Illunjire' or 'The Cunning Fox and The Jewel.'

Question: What is Sadiku's motive for gossiping about Baroka's impotence to Sidi in the play "The Lion and the Jewel?"

Answer: It was due to Baroka's appetite for young flesh blood (young women). As the eldest wife of Baroka, she didn't feel loved it wanted due to her old age.

Baroka was known to seduce young women. He would use Sadiku to convince young women whom Baroka's eyes fell on to convince them to accept Baroka's invitation to visit him or get married to him. It was dirty work that she did.

This is the main reason for rejoicing at Baroka's impotence together with Sidi.

Question: Sadiku is to blame for the turn of events in the lion and the jewel. What is your view?

Answer: In my opinion, Sadiku is partly to be blamed for the turn of events in the book. She rejoiced in the fact her husband, Baroka was impotent. She couldn't contain her joy by gossiping this fact, which we later learn was a lie from Baroka, to Sidi.

Sidi saw an opportunity of mocking Baroka, indirectly, pertaining to his impotence not realizing Baroka deceived his elder wife, Sadiku that he's impotent.

If Sadiku had kept quiet about it, Sidi would not have been deflowered. She would not have ended as Baroka's next wife.

As noted above, I can't fully blame her for the turn of events. Sidi is also to be blamed. She knew Baroka was cunning. Before the incident of Sidi ending up in Baroka's arms, she had told Sadiku that she knew Baroka very well. She knew every woman who visited Baroka at his place would end up as a wife or concubine. If she knew Baroka's cunning nature, why did she go to his place to mock him? Wasn't she slanderous? Didn't she enjoy demeaning people? Wasn't it as a result of her pride because she was the most beautiful girl in the village?

Question: Who are the main characters in the play, The Lion and The Jewel?

Answer: The main characters in the play are: Baroka, Sadiku, Sidi and Lankule.

Question: What happened to Baroka's first wife after marrying Sidi in the play: "The Lion and the Jewel"?

Answer: She still remained the wife of Baroka. In traditional polygamous families, a man wasn't required to divorce the eldest wife or some wives after marrying another woman. Of course, in the modern world a man can divorce the eldest wife and remain with the younger wives.

Before marrying Sidi, Baroka had two wives - Sidi the eldest and Favourite (her nickname) the youngest. Baroka just added Sidi in his list of wives.

The intention of Baroka marrying Sidi is not because she loved her but that she's was a threat to his authoritative power as the chief of Illunjire.

Lankule told Sadiku that she's is foolish by carrying out Baroka's request in convincing young women to get married to him. Also Sidi told Sadiku that she knows any woman who goes to Baroka's place either comes out of the place a concubine or a wife. Thus, there is a possibility Baroka has more than three wives.

Question: What is the reason why the play "The Lion and the Jewel", is written in the form of a


Answer: What is the purpose of comedy? It is to amuse. It is to provide some form of laughter. To ease tension.

Why do playwrights employ the element of comedy in their play? It is known behind a human lurks some evil intentions. Thus, a writer employs comedy in their writing to amuse people but with the intention of exposing vices or corrupt activities of individual e.g. Baroka.

For instance, I tell you that Jane drinks five cups of tea, a whole load of bread, a plate of stew at one go. I have exaggerated, amused or made you laugh but at the same time I have exposed the greediness of Jane.

Question: Is Sadiku a double dealer or a naïve faithful?

Answer: She is a double dealer. She knew very well her husband was using her to approach young girls her husband's eyes had fallen upon. Even though Lankule told her that she is used by Baroka, it is evident that when Baroka told her that he is impotent; she told Sidi. Her victorious dance around the tree while proclaiming men should watch out signifies she was happy to learn the impotence of Baroka. She couldn't have done this if she was naive.

Question: What makes the play "The Lion and The Jewel" a satirical text?

Answer: The satirical nature of the book is the unfolding of the events in the book.

We anticipated Sidi would be married to Lankule and not Baroka whom she despised.

Baroka lied to his eldest wife, Sadiku that he was impotent. Sadiku, happy at the good news of her husband's impotence rushes to tell Sidi.

Sidi doesn't think twice despite knowing the cunning nature of Baroka. She decides to visit Baroka with the intention of mocking his impotency.

What happens? Her mission to ridicule Baroka turns into mourning. Baroka has deflowered her.

Satire is the use of humor, sarcasm, irony, or ridicule with the intent of showing fallacy or vices committed by an individual, society, or government.

Which fallacy or vice was being criticized or disproved? The fallacy of Sadiku, a gossiper, and Sidi, a proud girl.

In the end, the writer points out that gossiping and being proud are vices that aren't acceptable in the society.

Question: According to the play titled 'The Lion and The Jewel' in which way did the stranger contribute in the play?

Answer: The stranger offered a glimpse of Baroka's weakness despite his old age and the authority he hold in the village as the chief.

Sidi's rising influence in her village and beyond is a result of the stranger taking photographs of her in various postures and getting published in a magazine in Lagos. Her photos are published in three-full cover pages. That of Baroka appeared in a small section of a page of the magazine close to the toilet.

Baroka knew her influence due to her beauty as expressed in the magazine would threaten his authoritative influence in the village. He sought to diminish her influence because he didn't want to be rivaled.

Also, the stranger portrayed how backward the Illunjire village was in terms of modern development. They had never seen a motor vehicle, a motorcycle or even a camera. They called them names they were accustomed to e.g. calling the motor car the stranger was driving on as a horse. This further explains how Baroka has contributed to lack of development in the village.

© 2019 Alianess Benny Njuguna


Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on August 18, 2020:

Thank you, Sam for your feedback.

Sam on August 17, 2020:

This is extremely awesome. Thank you so much.

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on July 21, 2020:

@Adam, that is true.

Adam on July 21, 2020:

The Play Its Very Iteresting To Society

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on July 06, 2020:

@Eliya, I'm glad to be of service to you. Thanks for the blessings and good health. I also wish you the same.

Eliya Sinkalla on July 06, 2020:

Thanks for ur coparation God bress u and i wish u will have the extenal life.I wish good day and i wish all the best

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on July 01, 2020:

@Mary, thank you for your feedback.

mary beauty on July 01, 2020:

Thanks so much for this education

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on June 17, 2020:

@Shazy, thank you for your comment. I agree, this is one of the best books I have read.

shazy on June 17, 2020:

this was the good book

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on May 28, 2020:

Thank you, Abdu. I am indebted by your blessings, and encouraged to work hard to produce other works relayed to this one. May the Almighty bless you too.

Abdu Yusuph on May 27, 2020:

May the almighty God grant you a healthy life so we will be able to read more of your wonderful and helpful work like this.

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on May 03, 2020:

Thank you, Beatrice. I'm glad you found it helpful.

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on May 03, 2020:

Thank you Joshua for your appreciation.

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on May 03, 2020:

Thank you, Adom. I hope through this, it will enable students appreciate literature and know how to analyze books.

beatrice on May 03, 2020:

thank u the lesson

Joshua on April 27, 2020:

Wow tanks a lot

Adom clinton on April 27, 2020:

This is good .It will motivate we the students in other to get more understanding about literature.

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on February 27, 2020:

Thank you. I appreciate your feedback.

Gifty on February 26, 2020:

Thanks for the drama very interesting

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on February 02, 2020:

Thank you, Abigail. The play is indeed an interesting read.

Abigail Awuku on February 01, 2020:

it's very interesting

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on January 22, 2020:

Thank you Franc.

frank muyango on January 22, 2020:

its so good

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on December 01, 2019:

True, Lamim. It's one of the best plays ever written and quite comic and full of suspense.


The play is very intresting thank to the author

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on November 30, 2019:

@Abubakarr, I concur with you that's it's one of the best plays ever written.

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on November 30, 2019:

Yes, Emmanuel. It's one of the best plays I have ever read.

Abubakarr barrie on November 30, 2019:

One of the best plays very interesting

Emmanuel on November 30, 2019:

Very nice drama

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