A Skewed Universe: Tragic Vision of Satire in Soyinka’s Alapata Apata
Satire as a genre of literature thrives on the framework of humour and social criticism. But little attention has been given in critical studies of the form to its potential to represent target subjects conditions tragically. In other words, satiric drama has a potential to deploy certain elements of comedy such as irony, sarcasm, exaggeration, allusion, analogy etc. to achieve a tragic end but this potential has not been subjected to serious critical inquiry, Also, there is an interconnection between humanistic geography and literary imaginative work which enlarges the scope of understanding the human condition but which has been inadequately explored in literary criticism. Apart from the fact that the two fields belong to the essential area of the humanities, both the humanistic geographer and the literary writer often complement each others quests to scientifically explain mans relationships with his physical, ecological, and social environment. In this paper, a case study of satires potential to share some affinities with tragedy is demonstrated using Wole Soyinkas satiric play, Alapata Apata as focus. The study, using the concept of representation in literature as its framework, also interrogates the relationship between the emblematic symbol of the globe alluded to in the play and the skewed universe of the characters. There is a parallel analogy between the cartographic representation of the world and the twisted experiences of the characters, which not only humanises these experiences tragically but also helps in understanding the need for the redemption of the condition of the society which the playwright envisions. The paper concludes that Soyinkas satirical interest has a universal implication for the way the cartographic symbol of the globe could be perceived. Thus, it highlights and discusses aspects of the satirical drama which are deployed to achieve a tragic vision of the human condition.