Death and the King’s Horseman: Giving up the Battle

From the Western perspective, it is really hard to comprehend ritual suicide as anything good or helpful to the living. There almost appears to be no Western equivalent to the “duty” of Elesin in Death and the King’s Horseman. Even so, Wole Soyinka provides us a comparable scenario in Jane’s description of a captain blowing up a ship to save the individuals on the shore. It’s a moment of hypocrisy on Britain’s element, each trying to stop Elesin’s suicide and lauding a Western suicide which purports to do the exact exact same point – save the living from destruction. It’s also clear that Olunde sees this ridiculous parallel, but he does not make Jane see the connection. Alternatively, he lets the matter drop, which, in the Western viewpoint is puzzling. We want everybody to see the truth and explain it, and assume worse of Olunde for the reason that of his inability to show Jane what is really going on. But it is truly his personal distinctive viewpoint and actions that show that what he does is a great deal smarter than our want of brute force.

Olunde’s intelligence stems from considering just before acting. Yes, Jane provides excellent ammunition to clarify why his father saving his people from destruction and going to a substantially better location, but that doesn’t mean the finest option is for him to point this out. Changing people’s opinions in discussion could possibly be a Western virtue, but opening one’s trap is not often the greatest strategic alternative. Olunde’s education and background combined give him a exceptional vantagepoint on action, and he sees that he can finest enable his people by waiting and evaluating the predicament.

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