Trials of Brother Jero and the Strong Breed

ISBN-10: 0822210908
ISBN-13: 9780822210900
Edition: N/A
Authors: Wole Soyinka
List price: $9.00
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Description: THE STORIES: THE TRIALS OF BROTHER JERO. As Michael Smith describes: Brother Jero is a self-styled 'prophet,' an evangelical con man who ministers to the gullible and struts with self-importance over their dependence on him. The play follows him  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.00
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1969
Binding: Paperback
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.198
Language: English

THE STORIES: THE TRIALS OF BROTHER JERO. As Michael Smith describes: Brother Jero is a self-styled 'prophet,' an evangelical con man who ministers to the gullible and struts with self-importance over their dependence on him. The play follows him through a typical day: He acts as kind of tourist guide, displaying himself to the audience, explaining, demonstrating how he manages to live by his wits. He is pursued and cursed by his aged mentor, whose territory he has taken over. He is besieged by a woman creditor who turns out to be the tyrannical wife of his chief disciple. He converts a pompous, painfully timid Member of Parliament with prophecies of a ministerial post. And all day he tries to resist the endless temptation of beautiful women, the play is delightfully picturesque and entertaining. (8 men, 6 women.) THE STRONG BREED. As outlined by Michael Smith: The play refers to a folk tradition by which one person becomes the 'carrier' of community evil and symbolically purifies the village in an annual ritual. The hero is Eman, a stranger who has come to this particular village to act as teacher and share his education. 'Those who have much to give,' he says, 'must do so in total loneliness.' On the night of the purification ceremony he learns that Ifada, a helpless idiot boy whom he has befriended, has been selected as 'carrier' and victim; and he is driven by compassion to take Ifada's part in the ritual. The crisis brings back memories. We learn that Eman's father was a 'carrier' and that Eman has fled the family tradition of symbolic sacrifice. We also learn of Omae, the young Eman's betrothed, whom he left for many years to pursue his personal destiny and who died soon after his return. Now Eman accepts his past and discovers, 'I am very much my father's son'—one of 'the strong breed' who must take these responsibilities upon themselves—and at the end of the play is caught in a trap at the sacred trees and killed. (12 men, 5 women.)

Wole Soyinka was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State of Nigeria on July 13, 1934. He attended Government College and University College in Ibadan before receiving a degree in English from the University of Leeds in England in 1958. He has held research and teaching appointments at several universities including the University of Ibadan, the University of Ife, Cornell University, Emory University, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Loyola Marymount. He is a distinguished playwright, poet, novelist, essayist, social critic, political activist, and literary scholar. His plays include The Swamp Dwellers, The Lion and the Jewel, A Dance of the Forests, The Bacchae of Euripides, A Play for Giants, Death and the King's Horsemen, From Zia with Love, The Beatification of Area Boy, and King Baabu. His collections of poetry include Idanre and Other Poems, A Shuttle in the Crypt, and Mandela's Earth and Other Poems. His novels include The Interpreters, which won the 1968 Jock Campbell Literary Award, and Season of Anomy. His autobiographical works include Ake: The Years of Childhood, Isara: A Voyage Around Essay, The Open Sore of a Continent: A Personal Memoir of the Nigerian Crisis, and You Must Set Forth at Dawn. His literary essays collections include Myth, Literature and the African World and Art, Dialogue and Outrage. During the civil war in Nigeria, he appealed for cease-fire in an article. Accused of treason, he was held in solitary confinement for 22 months. Two of his works, The Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka and Poems from Prison, were secretly written on toilet paper and smuggled out of prison. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

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