African Dramatists and the Burden of Responsibility
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The theatre artiste, as a member of a society, should be aware of the enormous responsibility placed on him as a committed artiste so that the society will not perish. Though some critics believe that the theatre artiste should not be committed, that art should be for art’s sake, from all indications this may spell doom for man and his society. The work gives an in depth analysis of different ideologies that are associated with creative writings, especially with the responsibility bestowed on dramatists and playwrights. This is expedient in order to situate the discussions that underpin the focus of the paper as well as the conclusions. This paper argues that art must be committed for it to be relevant and for society to become a better place for all. Hence, the playwright/theatre artiste is not excused in his duty to intimate the people with the pros and cons of life. This paper also examined some works of Femi Osofisan to juxtapose them with works of Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotimi, to show how those works reflect high level of commitment, especially towards the less privileged and the society. It is hoped that this paper will provide the needed inspiration for African playwrights, dramatists and theatricians to play their roles as committed artistes.
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