A Dance of the Forests

A Dance of the Forests Literary Elements





Setting and Context

A clearing in the forest and the palace of Mata Kharibu

Narrator and Point of View

No narrator

Tone and Mood

Serious, Dramatic, Symbolic, Ritualistic, Magical

Protagonist and Antagonist

Protagonists are Dead Man and Dead Woman. Antagonists are Demoke, Rola, Adenebi, Agborkeo

Major Conflict

Dead Man and Dead Woman have been brought to the land of the living in order to have their account of their abuse and deaths heard, so that the mortals who inflicted that corruption and abuse will atone and be brought to justice.


The climax occurs when Demoke returns the child to the Dead Woman and everyone leaves the stage.


The rising of the Dead Man and Woman foreshadows that someone has killed them as they ask for their case to be heard.



The play makes allusions to Nigerian history, traditional Yoruba performance and ritual.


The dance that takes place in the welcoming of the dead includes some vivid imagery.


The four mortals carry their pasts with them in spite of no longer bearing the identities of their former lives.


All of the mortals are parallels to their former selves.


During the welcoming of the dead, various elements of nature come to life and speak from the perspective of the natural world.

Use of Dramatic Devices

Solinka's use of both prose and verse allows the form of the play to move from reality to a more heightened state which is necessary to illuminate the spiritual, more abstract elements in the play.