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Crossroads in the Black AegeanOedipus, Antigone, and Dramas of the African Diaspora$
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Barbara Goff and Michael Simpson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199217182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217182.001.0001

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History Sisters: Femi Osofisan's Tegonni: An African Antigone

History Sisters: Femi Osofisan's Tegonni: An African Antigone

(p.321) 7 History Sisters: Femi Osofisan's Tegonni: An African Antigone
Crossroads in the Black Aegean

Barbara Goff (Contributor Webpage)

Michael Simpson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Femi Osofisan's Tegonni: an African Antigone moves beyond a concern with the political and cultural effects of colonialism. Instead, the play deconstructs colonial and other types of authority, including paternal power and the domination of the male, in the service of resistance to neo-colonialism. In place of traditional authorities it foregrounds relationships of spontaneous affection, female agency, and a comic dimension. The self-conscious metatheatricality of the drama serves the same project; Tegonni doubles its heroine between a mythical Greek Antigone and a nineteenth-century Yoruba princess, and thus can address, like Odale's Choice, the issue of a sacrifice that is efficacious but must be repeated. The authority of the Greek Antigone comes to symbolize the tragic inevitability of Africa's damaged history, but is countered both by the comedy in the play, represented most forcefully by the soldiers, and by the tradition of Antigones set in Africa.

Keywords:   Femi Osofisan, Tegonni, neo-colonialism, metatheatrical, comedy, paternal power, male domination, authority, resistance, female agency

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