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Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds$
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Lorna Hardwick and Carol Gillespie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296101.001.0001

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Antigone’s Boat: the Colonial and the Postcolonial in Tegonni: An African Antigone by Femi Osofisan

Antigone’s Boat: the Colonial and the Postcolonial in Tegonni: An African Antigone by Femi Osofisan

Chapter:
(p.40) 2 Antigone’s Boat: the Colonial and the Postcolonial in Tegonni: An African Antigone by Femi Osofisan1
Source:
Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds
Author(s):

Barbara Goff

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296101.003.0003

This chapter examines another important play by Femi Osofisan, Tegonni: An African Antigone. The play is linked to specific issues in post-colonial classical theatre, and explores the paradoxical relationship between the conditions that created the possibility of African rewritings, and those that may in turn subvert the effects. The chapter identifies reasons for the popularity of Antigone in African rewritings, and analyses its double-edged potential for application to African contexts, and not just those of imperial subjection. It examines ways in which the figure of Antigone can straddle myth and history, and allow metatheatrical dimensions to emerge. These are sometimes unexpected, as in Osofisan’s play with its exploration of different forms of colonialism, and its theatrical presentation of Antigone’s arrival, not from ancient Greece via imperial Britain, but on the boat of the Yoruba water goddess.

Keywords:   Femi Osofisan, Antigone, theatre, post-colonial literature, Africa, colonialism, myth

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