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Authors: FAKEYE, F. M.
Keywords: Irony
Ironic situations
Yoru?ba? Tragic plays
Literary Context
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Irony and the ironic, which are prominent features of Yorùbá tragic plays, are stylo-situational elements used to draw attention to the gap between the speaking position, the posited truth and actions. Previous studies on the use of stylistic devices in Yorùbá́ literature have examined simile, metaphor, repetition and euphemism, but have not given adequate attention to ironic elements in Yorùbá́tragic plays. This study, therefore, examined the types of irony and the ironic, and their contexts of usage. The aim is to establish their stylistic significance and their communicative functions in the plays. The study adopted Roland Barthes‟ Semiological theory. Four Yorùbá written plays were purposively selected because they have a high concentration of ironic elements that depict tragic situations. They were Láwuyì Ògúnníran‟s Ààrẹ̀-Àgò (Aríkúye̩rí), Akínwùmí Ìsò̩lá‟s E̩fúnṣetán Aníwúrà, Adébáyò̩ Fálétì‟s Ìdààmú Páàdì (Mínkáílù),and O̩ládè̩jo̩ Òkédìjí‟s Ré̩ré̩ Rún. The data were subjected to semantic and semiotic analyses. Five types of irony are found in the texts, namely, verbal irony, dramatic/tragic irony, irony of fate, irony of character and comic irony. The ironic covers situations (dilemma, bareness, extremism, frustration, deception and death) and actions (wrestling, wickedness, vengeance, greediness, treachery, hypocrisy, bribery, conspiracy, malady and role change) that lead to tragedy. Verbal irony, dramatic/tragic irony, irony of fate and the ironic are identified in all the texts. Irony of character is found only in Ààrẹ̀-Àgò, Ìdààmú Páàdì and Ré̩ré̩ Rún whilecomic irony is found only in Ààrẹ̀-Àgò and Ìdààmú Páàdì. Four types of contexts are identified: political (achieved with dramatic irony showing vengeance, escapism, malady and death; verbal irony showing conspiracy and deception; Irony of character showing treachery, bribery, extremism and escapism),historical (achieved with irony of character showing conspiracy and escapism ;irony of fate showing frustration, dilemma and death), philosophical (achieved with irony of fate showing dilemma, bareness, malady and death; irony of character showing frustration and vengeance)and cultural (achieved with verbal irony showing pretence; comic irony showing wrestling and role change). All the four occur in three texts (Ààrẹ̀-Àgò, Ìdààmú Páàdì and Ẹfúnṣetán Aníwúrà) while only three (political, philosophical and cultural) occur in Ré̩ré̩ Rún. These ironic elements achieve four stylistic functions: defencemechanism, pre-destination cues, counter dogmatism and protest mechanism. At varying degrees is Ààrẹ̀-Àgò and Ìdààmú Páàdi , comical effects with ironic twists climaxing at the point of incongruity occur in the political, cultural and historical contexts; only ironic effects with satirical cues are found in Ẹfúnṣetán Aníwúrà. The irony and the ironic elements are connected with three broad tragic themes, namely, death (all the texts), escapism (Ààrẹ̀-Àgò) and malady (Ré̩ré̩ Rún) which contribute to their stylistic function in the plays. Irony and the ironic elements, with differing manifestations, occur in historical, philosophical, political and cultural contexts, and perform theme and effect-based stylistic functions in Yorùbá tragic plays. These elements, thus, enhance the readers‟ understanding of the Yorùbá concept of tragedy as evident in the plays.
URI: http://localhost:8080/handle/123456789/176
Appears in Collections:Theses & Dissertations

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