Literary artists use language and the power of words to communicate messages to their audiences or readers. Satire provides these artists one such medium for language use. This paper discusses the African literary giant and Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, as a satirist. Specifically, it examines Soyinka’s use of the tools of satire which are irony, exaggeration and invective in The Trials of Brother Jero, in which he bitterly criticizes religious and socio-political vices, especially in his native Nigerian society. The paper concludes that Soyinka is successful as a satirist with this play largely because of his effective diction whose power provokes laughter in the audience and keeps them “listening” as he bitterly condemns religious charlatanism and other societal cankers and seriously urges correction.
Key words: Religious charlatanism, fake, corruption, phoney prophet, Juvenalian satire
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