Teacher Guide

The Lion and the Jewel Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Lion and the Jewel

The Lion and the Jewel, one of legendary Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka's earliest plays, explores colonialism and gender roles in mid-twentieth-century Nigeria. Sidi, a beautiful and shrewd village girl, might be engaged to marry the schoolteacher, Lakunle; however, Lakunle, desperate to align himself with Western, "cosmopolitan" values, refuses to pay her bride-price, so the two are at a standstill. In the meantime, a photographer who came to the village months ago has put Sidi's photograph on the cover of a magazine, leading the village Bale—Baroka, in his mid-sixties—to feel a keen interest in taking her as one of his wives, and leading Sidi herself to perform vanity and...

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