The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka Essay

The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka Essay

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The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka

The three main characters in ‘The Lion and the Jewel’ are called Sidi,
Lakunle and Baroka the Bale. Each character has different thoughts
about one another and each views the society in a different way. This
essay introduces and describes each character and analyses their role
in the play.


Sidi is the first character that the audience meets. She is a very
attractive woman, known as the village ‘belle’. Her attractiveness
influences her personality, by making her quite vain. An example of
her vanity is when she receives photos through of her that featured in
a global magazine, taken by a western man. The photographs, also
affect Sidi’s perception of Baroka, by making her believe that she is
a better person, judging by the picture size difference in the

Sidi is heavily influenced by tradition, which is outlined more than
once throughout the play. The opening scene shows how Lakunle offers
to carry Sidi’s load. Sidi refuses, because it is traditionally the
woman that carries the load and if other people saw, then Sidi is
afraid that people may start to shun or mock her. The relationship
between Lakunle and Sidi is clarified when Sidi asks for a Bride
Price. Lakunle is reluctant to give her money and insists that she
take his token of love and loyalty instead. Due to Sidi’s heavy belief
in tradition, she has to decline his offer and demand the bride money.
If she accepts his offer, then her value and status in the village can
potentially be diminished.

Sidi tries to be quite intelligent by making remarks that counter act
another persons. However, Baroka and Sadiku trick Sidi into marrying
Baroka and becoming his youngest wife. Even Sidi’s...

... middle of paper ...

...n any way (this is true in Sidi’s case). Baroka
is an intelligent man and can use his words to fool people. Much like
the railway track story and Sidi’s case. Baroka uses more words/
psychological flirting moves, rather than active moves. In the play
Sidi comes to Baroka because of the news given to her by Sadiku, note
that Baroka does not physically seduce her. He is able to analyse Sidi
and her thoughts and then produce an effective seducing tactic.

These 3 characters all have similarities and differences. Once we find
out these differences, it is easier to see why the characters react in
the way that they do. We are able to see why Lakunle is an outsider,
why Sidi does not like one aspect of Lakunle, and how the Bale finally
seduces Sidi. The Lion gets the Jewel and the outsider is left
standing there watching for other women ready to go for the bait.

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