Death and the Kings Horseman

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Character descriptions: Elesin Elesin Oba, a man of “enormous vitality,” was the chief horseman of the dead king. As the king’s companion, Elesin enjoyed a luxurious life of rich food and fine clothing, the rewards of a man of his position. He enjoyed that life, and now that the king has been dead for a month and is ready for burial Elesin is expected to complete the horseman’s duty and commit ritual suicide. The play opens on the evening of Elesin’s last day of life; at midnight he will die. He says repeatedly that he is ready to give his life, and he knows the importance of fulfilling his responsibility. But Elesin, well known for his many sexual conquests, sees a young woman of great beauty and demands that he be allowed to take…show more content…
Joseph Olunde Olunde is the son of Elesin, horseman to the King. Olunde has been sent abroad by the Pilkings (English colonizers) to become a doctor. Previously to the play Elesin has disowned his son. However, as Olunde points out disowning is not the same in Yoruban culture, Olunde will always be a part of Yoruban life, he will always be part of the rituals and traditions, it is his birthright and his duty. Olunde seems to represent the fluid movement of Yoruban culture. Olunde has to kill himself to ensure that the passage between the Ancestors and the Living stays open but also to ensure that the colonizers do not win in their attempts to quell Yoruban rituals and interpretations of
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