In his author’s note, Wole Soyinka calls attention to the historical event in Oyo that provides the materials for his play, Death and the King’s Horseman. Most importantly, he outlines how he has creatively reimagined this historical event: “The changes I have made are in matters of detail, sequence and of course characterisation. The action has also been set back two or three years to while the war was still on, for minor reasons of dramaturgy” (3). Examine this creative rewriting of history in Soyinka’s play and its film adaptation, Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman, by Biyi Bandele. How does this creative process enable these artists to grapple with the magnitude of the colonial tragedy in their work?
Make sure to access this reading Wole Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman, Scene 4-5
Film is on Netflix : Biyi Bandele dir., Ẹlẹ́ṣin Ọba: The King’s Horseman