Sidharth Vardhan

The Left-overs

(Review of Death and the King’s Horseman: A Play by Wole Soyinka – 4*/5*)   “Not I became the answering-name Of the restless bird, that little one Whom Death found nesting in the leaves When whisper of his coming ran Before him on the wind. Not I has long abandoned home. This same dawn I heard him twitter in the gods’ abode. Ah, companions of this living world What a thing this is, that even those We call immortal Should fear to die. “ It is based on a true incident and has in its roots, a Yoruba tradition that death of a chief must be followed by ritual suicide of the chief’s horseman because horseman’s spirit is essential for helping the chief’s spirit to ascend to other world (or it shall wander the Earth and harm people.) I think this explains the title. The king is dead and, Elsin, his horse-man is more than willing to kill himself. He feels duty bound to it – and would rather die than have his honor questioned: “Life has an end. A life that will outlive Fame and friendship begs another name. What elder takes his tongue to his plate, Licks it clean of

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