Towards a Universal Tragic Vision in J.P. Clark’s Song of a Goat

Odoh, Onyeka Emeka


Often, attention is paid to the adjectives that modify some concepts rather than the concepts in themselves; African literature suffers from such a critical attitude. This is made worse by the lachrymal nature of African literature that repeatedly strives to defend itself against the alleged dominating influence of Western literary and critical hegemony. Saddled with such ‘decolonizing’ mindset, critics of African literature have always insisted that African literature is unique and distinct from the Western literary tradition, and as such should yield this African uniqueness at every moment. With that understanding, these critics incessantly search for those elements that differentiate, rather than unite, a work of African writing from the other literary works of other regions. Thus J. P. Clark’s Song of a Goat, for example has been labeled an African-oriented tragic work. This research therefore is focused, among other things, on debunking the Afrocentric positions on the said play to the effect that tragedy is of universal human impulse. This research will further examine the play; Song of a Goat using Arthur Miller’s vision of tragedy as postulated in his ‘Tragedy and the Common Man.’

Keywords: Towards, Universal, Tragic, Vision

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