Reading Wole Soyinka’s Strong Breed, I get to wondering about disclosure and ritual, disclosure between characters and to audiences, rituals of drama and religion.
As I read the play, I see ample signs that both Sunma and Eman know about the curse-binding ritual that is to take place before midnight. I see signs of Sunma’s more specific knowledge in her shunning of Ifada from the start of the play. She declares, “Get away, idiot” (853). From the start Sunma is agitated and hopes that she and Eman might get away for “only two days” (857), as long as the two of them might “watch the new year together--in some other place” (856). Once Eman decides he doesn’t want to go away, Sunma wants to avoid the festival completely, saying that she “must not go out until all this is over” (859).
Certainly, my rereading contributes to the sense of the foreshadowing I find in Sunma’s declarations. I have read the play half a dozen times by now, and though I forget many details, I do remember the outcome well enough to seek signs of its co...
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