The Dead Man was a soldier in a former life who was castrated for his unwillingness to go to war against a neighboring tribe. He took issue with the motives for going to war and so refused to participate. He was sold to a slave-dealer and eventually killed. During the time of the play, he has been brought back to life by Aroni to settle the unfinished business of his ill-fated death.
The Dead Woman was pregnant with the Dead Man's child when she attempted to plead for her husband's life in the court of Mata Kharibu. Her plea was rejected and she and her husband were killed.
Forest Head is a god who attempts to have the four characters who tortured the Dead Man and Dead Woman in a past life remember their sins and atone for them.
Rola is a prostitute, who was once Madame Tortoise in a past life, and queen to Mata Kharibu. She was known for driving men to madness and is the reason the Dead Man/Soldier was castrated and his wife killed.
Demoke is a carver who was once a poet in a past life. While carving an araba tree he pushed his apprentice, Oremole, from the tree to his death. The Forest Head wants him to see the sin he has committed and atone for it.
Adenebi was a court historian for Mata Kharibu who accepts a bribe from a slave trader to sell the Soldier as a slave, even wrongfully stating that the ship he will travel in is not tortuous.
Agboreko is the Elder of Sealed Lips. In a former life, he was a soothsayer in the court of Mata Kharibu and predicted that the stars did not favor a victory for the king if he chose to go to war.
Eshuoro is a wayward spirit who is seeking vengeance for the death of Oremole. He seeks Demoke as Oremole's murderer and is vengeful and spiteful throughout the play.
A Dance of the Forests Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for A Dance of the Forests is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.