Wole Soyinka and W. B. Yeats’ myth-making symmetries: A Reading across cultures
Keywords:myth-making, culture, tradition, ethno-cultural values, reincarnation, identity, symbolism, creative imagination, cosmology, etc.
Wole Soyinka and W. B. Yeats’s visions have hardly been considered unambiguously according to F. Odun Balogun, Ode S. Ogede, and Cleanth Brooks. The poets’ system of thought and symbolic inclinations have often been tainted by critics as a mental forgery, a metaphysical mystification, and to Brooks, the very act of boldly setting up a myth by Yeats has often been regarded by most critics as “an impertinence, or, at the least, as a fantastic vagary” (qtd in W.B. 412). Myth-making symbolisms through which both poets have constantly sought themes that would deal with the human experience and create a pattern of thought to allow man to contemplate and comprehend the hostilities and anarchies of the 20th century account for these apprehensions. Contemporary issues of war, terrorism, human inequalities, religion, existential crisis, identity crisis, exploitation and enslavement, and the question of belonging have hardly escaped their psychological cravings. From the point of view of myth criticism, the paper argues that through ethno-cultural values they attempt to achieve artistic originality, some of their poems like Soyinka’s “Abiku” and Yeats’ “The Song of Wandering Aengus”, reveal the significance of the poets’ obscurantists views which in this paper are, nonetheless, admirable.
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