Power Dynamics in Wole Soyinka’s ‘The Trials of Brother Jero’

Sobia Ilyas

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(English, 8 pages)


The paper draws upon Wole Soyinka’s play ‘The Trials of Brother Jero’ to explore the power dynamics within a discourse of power which has its foundations in suppression, poverty, deprivation and a formidable colonial past and where power is not restricted to any homogenous group but is rather conditioned by culture, feminism and sexuality and is thus perpetually changing in form and structure. The play is a harsh depiction of how the Yoruban ecclesiasts manipulate the gullible working class to exercise power and gain control over a small fishing community with the effect of creating power relations that are hinged on oppression and resistance and where power is constantly changing hands between the state and the subjects. The paper suggests a Foucauldian analysis of the play by exploring the concepts of ‘bio power’ and ‘pastoral power’ within a ‘regime of truth’ which accepts physical and psychological coercion by the religious authorities as an essential pre requisite to salvation and where religion is manipulated to dehumanize individuals into slavish followers who are in turn, menacing breeders of revolt and resistance and posse





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