Extrapolating the Nigerian Condition in Hangmen Also Die


One Nigerian playwright whose brief pilgrimage on earth has been blessed by providence to create enduring and provocative plays about Nigerian situations and who appears prophetic in his writing, is Esiaba Irobi. In a greatly tumultuous tragic play entitled Hangmen Also Die, Irobi in 1989, projected in the play that fragrant abuse and misappropriation of the proceeds of crude oil, the major driver of the nation’s economy, by greedy and unconscionable leaders will ostensibly exacerbate poverty and throw the country into Hobbesian state of nature as people struggle to survive by all means Leaning on the theory of prebendalism which Richard [1996] used to describe the nature of Nigerian politics where ‘state offices are regarded as prebends that can be appropriated by officeholders, who use them to generate material benefits for themselves and their constituents and kin groups”, the paper attempts to dissect Hangmen Also Die, through close reading to demonstrate that the current state of anomie faced by many Nigerians in the twenty first century,parallels the actions and utterances of the characters in the play. Because insecurity, kidnapping, youth restiveness and all kinds of oddities dramatised in the play, have continued to cause Nigerians to gasp for breath daily in an environment where human lives are no longer sacrosanct as life appears to be lived on the crest of the waves owing to horrendous terrorist attacks and mass killing of ordinary Nigerians.

Author Information
Norbert Oyibo Eze, University of Nigeria, Nigeria
Cindy Anene Ezeugwu, University of Nigeria, Nigeria

Paper Information
Conference: ECAH2023
Stream: Literature/Literary Studies

This paper is part of the ECAH2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Eze N., & Ezeugwu C. (2023) Extrapolating the Nigerian Condition in Hangmen Also Die ISSN: 2188-1111 – The European Conference on Arts & Humanities 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-1111.2023.1
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-1111.2023.1

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon