Trauma and the Art of Dramatizing History:

Thumbnail Image
Ezenwanebe, O.C.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Adonis and Abbey Publishers Limited, SE11 4XZ, London, United Kingdom
The literature of any nation is a key to unlock its past, view its present and have an insight into its future. This is because there is an intricate relationship between art and life.Theatre, among other arts, responds more promptly to social issues and events. History is therefore a viable subject matter for drama. The playwright as a social and psychological being is alive to the issues and events, which impinge on his personality and helps to form his conception of the world. This paper evaluates the complex relations of history, psychology and drama. The aim is to critically examine how the playwright demonstrates the influences of traumatic historical experiences as seen in the way he represents them on the stage. The paper proposes that: traumatic history rarely escapes the creative impulse; traumatic experiences shapes a playwright's view of the world and; this can be seen in the dramatic works informed by such events and experiences. To further the above arguments, Wole Soyinka's Madmen and Specialists, a play on the Nigerian Civil War 1967-1970, which is also his personal response to it, is analysed to unravel the relationship between the dramaturgy and the experience. Other relevant materials like his novel The Mall Died, a record of his prison experiences as a result of his role in the war, will also be analysed.
Staff Pulication
Literature , Drama
Ezenwanebe,O.C. (2007) Trauma and the Art of Dramatizing History: A Study of Soyinka's Madmen and Specialists. African Performance Review, Vol.1, (2&3), P. 31 - 45.