Ayush Antiwal

Ayush Antiwal

Summary of The Lion And the Jewel By Wole Soyinka

The Lion and the jewel is a play written by famous Nigerian playwriter named Wole Soyinka and it was originally published on 1962 by Oxford university press. The story of play revolves around a girl named Sidi, a beautiful young woman who lives in llujinle.


Summary of The Lion and the Jewel By Wole Soyinka


Summary of The Lion and the Jewel

The Story of play centers around two major characters named Sidi also knows as “The Jewel”, a gorgeous young woman from llujinle, and Lakunle, a twenty three years old school teacher who wants to marry Sidi. The story starts with Sidi who is carrying a bucket of water on her head near the school where Lakunle catches her and starts scolding her for her dressing sense. He told her that the clothes you are wearing is not covering your shoulder which is not good and you should wear something like which can cover your shoulders as well. Sidi tells him that she is wearing a proper clothes and if she wear something that will cover her shoulder than I won’t be able to do my work properly.

Lakulne is in love with Sidi and wants to marry her so he proposes her for marriage. Sidi denied his proposal as he refused to pay her bride price which is tradition in their village. Sidi does not love Lakulne and consider him as arrogant but still she agrees to marry him only if he can pay her bride price in tradition. There comes a group of woman who tell Sidi that a strangers who took photographs of their village a long time ago is came back with his magazine and her photographs is on front page of the magazine and she is looking stunning.

Sidi feels delightful after watching her photographs on front page of cover magazine. She recommend everyone to play an act of lost traveler, she gave everyone a roles to play in act and she gives Lakulne, a role of stranger in play. At first, Lakulne hesitate to play an act but later on he agrees because of Sidi’s insistence.

There comes a new character named Baroka also known as “Lion”, a 62 years old man who goes to take part in Sidi’s lost traveler act and he order everyone to make him head of play. When Lakulne sees Baroka he decides to leave play and go home because he does not like him at all because of his old traditional beliefs. Lakulne is man of modern world who follows western culture. On the other side, we have Baroka, a 62 years old man who follows his old tradition.

When play ends, Baroka decides to see magazine photographs and when he was watching photographs, he saw a beautiful photo of Sidi on front page of magazine and gets attracted towards her beauty. Baroka orders his head wife named Sadiku to give a marriage proposal to Sidi. Sadiku goes in Sidi’s home to give her a Baroka’s marriage proposal and Sidi refuses his marriage proposal because Baroka is like a father figure to him and he is too old for her to marry. When Baroka learns about the comment of Sidi on him, he gets offended and plans to trick her. He told her wife a lie like he can’t produce child anymore because his manhood ended a few months back.

When Sidi learns about the impotence of Baroka, she decides to visit his home to taunt him and when she goes in his home, they had a conversation in which Baroka shares her the plan of featuring her photographs in village which will make her famous in village. He praises her for her beauty and starts seducing her for marriage. Sidi starts imagining herself as famous girl in her dream and falls her head on his shoulder. As Sidi’s head fall on Baroka’s shoulder, he raped her and took her virginity.

On the other hand we have Sadiku and Lakulne who are waiting for Sidi to come outside from Baroka’s home and when she does, she comes out sobbing filled with tears, she revealed to them that Baroka raped her and took her virginity. Lakulne says he is still ready to marry her because he love her but again Sidi refuses his marriage proposal because she will have to marry Baroka now a he as he took her virginity. In the end, we learns that how tradition win against modernization.


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