Showing posts with label 2021 literature in english syllabus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2021 literature in english syllabus. Show all posts

Friday, 10 June 2022


Few of the themes are Colonial Oppression, Quest for Leadership Position, Betrayal and Greed, Gender Inequality.

1. Theme of Colonial Oppression: the theme of colonialism is the main motivation for the existence of the drama. The drama takes us back to the period where Africa still under the bondage of invaders. The drama portrayed the negative side of colonialism where the white masters in charge of affairs were wayward. Undermining Africa values and rulers, imposition of tax, unnecessary feudalism; are few examples of colonial oppression in the drama. King Gbanya was called a dog, he was flogged and fined to pay cattle's, where Queen Yoko (during her reign) was stripped of her landed possessions, while people of Mende Chiefdom pay taxes.

2. Theme of Leadership Quest: The pleasure attached to leadership is always glaring that it always attracts unhealthy rivalries. In the drama, Governor Rowe doest joke with his leadership position and never joked with anything that can undermine it. In order to reign as a queen, Yoko sacrificed her joy of motherhood. Lambio designed multiple evil plot in other to seat on the throne.

3. Theme of Inequality: this is evident both gender-wise and racial-wise. Gender inequality has turned to a cankerworm that has eaten deep into africa; as seen in the drama "Let Me Die Alone", the male characters are superior to the female. Ndapi beats his wife (Jilo) for delay in meal preparation, King Gbanya claims women including Yoko good for nothing than bedroom pleasure, other female characters in the drama were either dancers or mere maids. On the side of racial inequality, the actions of Rowe was crystal clear. Queen of England and Governor Samuel Rowe was superior to Africans and the African cultures.

4. Theme of Greed and Betrayal: Hardly can these be taken away from tragic drama. Greediness will lead to betrayal and betrayal will pave way for violence. Lambio was greedy by not been satisfied with the royal affiliation he enjoyed, he was hungry for the throne. In order to satisfy his greed, he betrayed Gbanya's trust and further betrayed his blood sister Queen Yoko. While Lambio remained the kingpin of atrocious act against leadership in Mende, he dragged Musa (the seer) into his partnership because Musa's secrets of evil deeds were in his fingertips.

5. Theme of Violence: characters such as Rowe, Yoko, Gbanya, Musa, Lamboi, Ndapi were violent. Rowe violent against the likes of Gbanya, Musa and Lamboi violent against the throne, Yoko violent against other chiefdoms in order to amass influence, Ndapi violent against his wife. Few evidence of violence in the drama are flogging, slapping, stabbing, murdering, etc.

READ ALSO: [3 Theme of Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole]

Wednesday, 27 October 2021


Definition: Literary terms are technical devices used both in Prose and Poetry by an author or by the poet when appreciating works of art in order to communicate their thoughts and feelings to the reader, so as to enhance the readers understanding of the theme arid form of a piece of writing. There is a need for you to know them and they are treated below.


1. Stanza: In poetry, we have what is called stanza. A poem is usually written in divisions known as stanzas.

(i) Manometer - a line stanza

(ii) Couplet - a two-line stanza

(iii) Triplet - a three-line stanza

(iv) Quatrain - a four-line stanza

(v) Quintet - a five-line stanza

(vi) Sestet - a six-line stanza

(vii) Septet - a seven-line stanza

(viii) Octave - an eight-line stanza

2. Rhythm: This is the precise flow of metrical movement between sound and events. It most essentially synchronizes with Sound and through a good rhythmic pattern; a song- like effect is usually achieved.

3. Mood/Tone: This is the state of mind of the author when making his composition. It reflects the feeling of the writer which the reader cannot feel except through the words of the work.

4. Rhyme: This is correspondence in sound on word-endings, usually at the end of poetry lines. Rhyme is much of a poetic device whereby the final sound of words is similar. Example: He stumbled through the gate when I was having my date.

5. Enjambment: This is also known as run-on-lines. st occurs in poetry with the idea in a line running into another as a single line and may not complete the message until the next one.

6. Imagery: In the literary sense, it means the collection of images within a literary work or a unity of a literary work. Imagery in Literature could be based upon the physical world, upon the psychological state of the setting in which the work is produced and thus presenting pregnant work heavy-laden with meanings.

7. Allegory: This is an extended metaphor in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, either in prose or verse, are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself.

8. Satire: Satire is a term used for a literary manner, blending a critical attitude with humour and wit for the purpose of improving human institutions or humanity

9. Rhetoric: This is the act of using words persuasively in speech and writing. It involves a manner in which the listener would be persuaded to respond in the way the speaker wants.

10. Rhetorical Question: As in the one above, rhetorical question is a leading question whereby the questioner subtly presents his question as if expecting to get the anticipated response.

11. Flashback: This is a narrative technique used by a novelist or a playwright to present in a recounting manner an event in the life of a particular character.

12. Dilemma: This is a situation whereby a person is faced with two dangerous situations between which he has to choose.

13. Humour: This is a way of presenting events in a way to induce laughter. It could be satirical or witty.

14. Fable: This is a short story (tale), told to teach a moral lesson. It is often told with animal representation of human beings.

15. Repetition: We use repetition as a style whereby for the purposes of emphasis and making impression, we repeat certain words or phrases. Example is Dennis Brutus’ poem titled “Sleep Well, My Love, Sleep Well”.

16. Metre: Metre occurs when a person’s voice goes up or down at regular intervals in pronunciation of a word

17. Atmosphere: This, is the prevailing mood, feelings and thought, of actions of people in a story. The feelings that stories or poems evoke in our hearts form the atmosphere of a work.

18. Elegy/Dirge: This is a song of sorrow, mourning. It is a song that mournfully celebrates an event like the death of a relation. An example is the “Songs of Sorrow by Kofi Awoonor.

19. Ballad: This is a sort of poem often handed down from generation to generation. This means that its largest part is preserved through memory. It has themes celebrating legends and great village heroes.

20. Didactic Poem: Just as its name suggests, a didactic poem is one that seeks to teach or instruct people on the essence of morality.

21. Epic: This is a long poem narrating the heroic deeds of a people or of some great men.

22. Ode: This is a poem written or spoken like a direct address to an object or to a person not present as if he were present. Sonnet: A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines. The fourteen lines could be divided into either six lines on top, eight lines below or four lines each in three places and the remaining two lines succeeding.

23. Setting: This is the physical periodic background in which a particular work of Literature is written.

24. Lyric: This is derived from the Greek word “Lyrikos” which means a poem to be sung on lyre.

25. Diction: This is the vocabulary, language, or choice of words of an author. It is the manner of expressing one’s ideas using words

26. Character and Characterization: A character means a participant in any work of art.

27. Plot: fl s the arrangement of events in a work of Art. It simply indicates the sequential manner in which one event leads to another.

28. Theme: This is the pre-occupation of the writer. It simply reveals what the writer had in mind before picking his or her pen to write.

29. Prologue/Epilogue: Prologue is a preface to a work of Art. It is the introductory speech made at the beginning of a text. Epilogue: This is the direct opposite of prologue. It is the speech made at the end of the play. It may also be the summary of the main action or a concluding section of a literary piece.

30. Syllable: This refers to a unit of sound. For example, the word to’ has a unit of sound when we pronounce it. It begins with letter ‘t’ and stops at letter ‘o’. Likewise the word ‘educate’. It can be syllabified into three as “e/du/cate”.

31. Allusion: This is a reference to something outside the immediate scope of what is being presented. It may be reference to characters, events in history, mythology and works of Literature.

32. Romance: This is a story written either in verse or prose about wild and improbable adventures. The story could also be about nature. Example is Gulliver’s Travels.

33. Verse: This is a metrical composition of a song or lines of poetry.

34. Rhyme Scheme: This is a pattern generally produced at the end of lines of poetry when a poet uses rhyme. Example: I consider how my life was spent — a In this dark world and wide — b The rhyme scheme of the above poem is ab


Literature has three major facets namely: prose, poetry and drama. These facets are often referred to as literary genres, categories or divisions.

Genre: Is a term used in literary criticism to designate the distinct categories into which literary works are grouped according to form or technique, or sometimes subject matter.



This term applies to all forms of written or spoken expression which do not have a regular rhythmic pattern. Prose is divided into FICTION and NONFICTION.

1. Fiction: This is the term used for narrative writing drawn from the imagination of the author rather than from history or fact. The term is mostly frequently associated with novels and stories, though drama and narrative poetry are also forms of fiction.

Examples of fiction are:

(i) Novel

(ii) Novelette

(iii) Epistolary Novel

(iv) Emotive Prose

(v) Scientific Prose

2. Non-fiction: This is the opposite of fiction. It deals with the true experiences and happenings. Non-fiction means prose writings that deal with facts. Examples of non-fictional prose are:

(i) Autobiography: This is the story of a person’s life as written by the person. Examples of autobiography are:

(a) My Early Life by Obafemi Awolowo

(b) Zambia Shall Be Free by Kenneth Kaunda

(c) My Odyssey by Nnamdi Azikiwe

(ii) Biography: This is a written account of a person’s life written by another person. For example, if A wrote a book about B’s life, such a book by A is a biography. Examples of biography are:

(a) Life and Death of Lenin by Robert Paine

(b) The Prince of the Niger by Chidi Amuta



(a) Epistolary Narrative Method

(b) Autobiographical Narrative Method

(C) Omniscient Narrative Method

(d) Stream of Consciousness Narrative Method

(e) Flashback Narrative Method

(f) Dialogue

(g) Assorted Narrative Method



Poetry has to do with the act of poem writing. Poem can be described as a literary composition characterized by the presence of imagination, emotion, truth, sense of impression and concrete language expressed rhythmically and with an orderly arrangement of parts and possessing within itself a unity.


(i) Lyrical poems

(ii) Narrative poems

(iii) Ballad

(iv) Epic

(v) Ode

(vi) Elegy/Dirge

(vii) Lullaby

(viii) Idyll

(ix) Pastoral

(x) Dramatic poetry

(xi) Sonnet

(xii) Epitaph



(i) Mood

(ii) Refrain

(iii) Poetic licence

(iv) Theme

(v) Prosody



According to Aristotle, drama is imitated human action. There are three necessary elements of drama viz.

(a) a story (b) told in action (C) by actors who impersonate the character of the story.



(i) Stage

(ii) Dialogue

(iii) Scripting

(iv) Audience

(v) Protagonist or hero/heroine

(vi) Mime

(vii) Costume

(viii) Antagonist

(ix) Playwright

(x) Conflict

(xi) Catharsis ‘.

(xii) Flaw



(i) TRAGEDY: This is a serious play with a sad ending. An example is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

(ii) COMEDY: This type of play aims at provoking smiles and laughter.

(iii) TRAGICOMEDY: This is a play which employs a plot suitable to tragedy but which ends happily like a comedy.

(iv) FARCE: This is a play provoking excessive laughter or in other words funny play for the theatre based on unlikely situations.

(v) BURLESQUE: This is a form of comedy characterized by ridiculous exaggeration.



What is Appreciation? Appreciation is a conscious attempt to read and understand a literary work and find out whether it is good or bad. The opposite of appreciation is criticism. Criticism is a noun form of the verb criticise’ which is an act of fault-finding.

Purpose of Appreciation: The purpose of appreciating work of Art is to enter the world of a literary artist successfully to integrate and involve oneself in his thought or feelings and to be able to read his mind impartially as presented in his work so as to understand and arrive at a just assessment or better evaluation of his work.

Three basic questions usually come into focus when a piece of literary work is to be appreciated. These are:

(i) What is the writer telling the reader? (Theme)

(ii) How is the writer expressing himself or herself? (Style)

(iii) What is the relationship between the subject matter and style?

READ ALSO: [Plot And Themes Of Night Rain By John Pepper Clark ]



What Is Literature?: The word ‘literature is an offshoot of the word ‘literate’ which means ‘able to read and write’. In this sense, literature can be used to describe all printed materials which give instruction, information, etc.


Distinction between Written and Oral Literature

The beginning of literature itself in all societies is basically oral where people chant songs, for instance, at the community gatherings, social occasions or even at work. This is usually done with some lyrical qualities which purely express themselves and pass from generation to generation in their oral forms. Stories and folklores were usually preserved in the memory of people through the generations.

Thus, the primitive level of literature was in the oral form before the advent of the art of writing.

With the development of writing came the preservation of literature in visible notational forms. The art of writing tends to make literary materials (otherwise having a tendency of getting lost early) to be long-lasting when preserved in black and white. Written Literature can therefore be seen as the embodiment of Literature in written form either handwritten or printed.


Functions and Advantages of Literature

1. Literature performs certain functions both for society

2. Literature performs the purpose of entertainment

3. A means of propagation of history, culture and politics.

4. It serves as a means of informing society.

5. Teaching of morality.

6. Improves audience’s use of language.



1. Simile: This is a direct comparison between two things of different nature or class but with a striking similarity in a particular aspect by the use of such words like “as” and “like”. The two things compared must be of different nature or class, e.g. shoe to a charcoal whereby we may say “My shoes are as black as charcoal.

2. Metaphor: This is a device which the poetic “turns” on a meaning are achieved. In this we compare two things by stating one thing as another though not physically but in quality, e.g. “Gbenga is a lion on the field”.

3. Personification This is the idea of representing an object or an idea with a person or an action only capable of being done by a human being. It thus means the endowment of non-living thing with human attributes. For example:

“The sun travelled gently from east to west”.

4. Apostrophe: Here, a person talks to another who is not physically present or even to an object which is incapable of listening e g talking to somebody dead as if he is present. For example, if I say ‘lfa! Why have you done this to me?”

5. Paradox: This is a statement of fact or truth which on the face of it may look contradictory, untrue or even absurd. e. “He, who must die shall live and he who must live shall die”.

6. Oxymoron: This is a contradictory expression whereby two words of opposite meanings are placed together. E.g: She kept on moaning in the “painful pleasure” of the act.

7. Antithesis: This is the figure of speech whereby a word in a statement may be used to contrast the whole statement or a clause contrasting another or sentences in a statement contrasting each other. For example, “poverty is the fruit of all goodness”, “money is the root of all evils”.

8. Epigram: Epigram is a short witty saying. It often embodies apparent contradiction and some bit of satire. It is used often to express ideas in a brief and memorable manner.

Example: Every poet is a fool, agreed,

But not every fool is a poet.

9. Synecdoche: In this literary figure, we try to represent a whole by using a part or at times a part to represent a whole. Example: “By the last headcount, Nigeria was said to be

eighty-eight million in population.

10. Metonymy: This literary device uses a name of an object commonly associated with a person to describe the person. This may be a staff of office or an instrument commonly associated with a person. E.g. The crown pursues nobody. “Crown” here stands for the king.

11. Antoriomasia: Here we use proper name in place of a general class or idea for which it is a representative. This means that the one and the other share certain qualities making them comparable to each other. For example, Wole Soyinka is often called William Shakespeare of our time.

12. Symbolism: This is the idea of using symbols to convey messages. When a symbol is used in Literature, the purpose is to give it a meaning which goes beyond the physical representation merely.

13. Alliteration: This is the repetitive use of the same consonant sound at the beginning of two or more words on the same line. Thus we may have “bouncing baby boy”.

14. Assonance: This is like a direct opposite of alliteration. Instead of the consonant sounds as we have in alliteration, the object of concern here is the use of recurring initial vowel sounds which are quite close to one another. Examples are: Shit on sheet of foul aloud. The bat is back in a bad basket.

15. Hyperbole: Here we use conscious exaggeration without the intent of literal persuasion. Hyperbole may be used to produce a heightened effect or to produce some comic effect. We may say: “The man is taller than the Cocoa House in Ibadan”.

16. Irony: This term refers to the recognition of a reality different from its masking appearance. Here, double meaning is put forward for appreciation. It could be verbal, dramatic situational or historical irony.

17. Sarcasm: As said above, this is seemingly an ‘ironical statement: It’s a form of verbal irony in which, under the guise of praise, a caustic, bitter expression of strong and personal disapproval is given. For example: ‘Yes, you are the voice of the people. When you die, wisdom will die with you”. Job 12 vs 1-2

18. Euphemism: This is a deliberate act of expressing horror or unpleasantness in a mild way. It uses an indirect statement in substitution for a direct one in an effort to avoid bluntness. It lessens the harshness and the shock it might give the ears and mind if spoken in its raw sense Example: “Olu has kicked the bucket”.

19. Climax: This is the arrangement of ideas, items in an ascending order. Here, one starts from the lowest to the highest. The effect is to arouse suspense in a listener or reader. For instance, if I say: Adeoye lost his pen, his money, two children and his beautiful wife, all in a single day”.

20. Pun: Pun simply means “playing upon words”. It may be used in a way repetitive of a particular word while its meaning may not be really apparent. Listen to this: “Ism to ism for ism is isms of isms and isms on absolute ism”_ Wole Soyinka - Kongi’s Harvest

21. Anti-Climax: This is the opposite of climax. It progresses from the highest to the lowest. It’s the arrangement of ideas, items or events in a descending order. If I say, “Olatunde lost his wife, his child, shoes and a Bic biro in an accident”.

22. Pathetic Fallacy: In this figure of speech, we credit nature with human qualities. Here, it could be a commiseration with human beings in a state of grief or nature celebrating with human beings in a state of happiness. It is used to heighten the effect of a particular event. For example: “The interment of Awolowo was a mystery. The rainbow gloomily sliced across the sky. The friendly sun refused to shine on earth. It was like the world was coming to an end. As followers proceeded towards the mausoleum”.

23. Innuendo: This is another ironical figure of speech. It is an insinuation or indirect suggestion, often with harmful or sinister connotation. It’s a clever way of passing unpleasant comments. For example, we may say Babatunde is a very honest man, especially with matters unconnected with money”.

24. Prolepsis: This is an anachronistic statement in which an event that had not taken place is treated as having taken place. It is a sort of anticipation in which events anticipated are taken as if they had already passed. A student anticipating the results of his WASC examinations may boastfully say to his mates:

“This is Mr. B. A. Jaguar, the man with Al” in English Language and seven other distinctions”.

25. Litotes or Meiosis: This is a form of understatement in which a thing is affirmed by stating the negative or its opposite. Here, a positive statement is put in a negative way. In most situations, we find words like “no” or “not” being employed in making a litotic statement. For instance; “I am a citizen of no mean city”.

26. Onomatopoeia: When a word is used to suggest its meaning, it is referred to as onomatopoeia. Thus, onomatopoeia in Literature means a word, which through its sound, its meaning can be directly inferred. At times, we refer to this literary term as echoic verse. For example, “I bobbed up belly-wise”.

27. Chiasmus: This figure of speech achieves a contrast by reversal of clauses, this is a reversal of words by corresponding phrases occurring in a sentence For example, “Do not think of what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.

28. Hendiadys: Here we present a figure whereby a single idea is represented by two words joined by a conjunction Usually, it is a single thing that is done but we say it in such a way as if two or more things are done. For instance, instead of simply saying “Olu took his leave”, we may rather say: “Olu took his hat and his leave”.

This makes it look as if it were two things that were taken, “He gave the man a present and a nod”.

29. Bathos: This literary figure seeks to present a declining impression from something impressive to a ridiculous one. For example “it is better to live in hell than to die in heaven’.

30. Repetition: This is a rhetorical device of reiterating a word or phrase to secure emphasis. For example:

(i) “Twinkle twinkle little star”. (ii) ‘Rain, rain, rain go away”. (iii) “Out, out brief candle”.

31. Rhetorical Question: This is a question asked for literary effect in one’s writing or speech. It doesn’t require an answer. For example:

(i) Who prefers to live in war than to live in peace.

(ii) Why am I here?

(iii) When gold rusts, what will iron do?

READ ALSO: [How To Excel In Literature-In-English Examination ]


There are some glaring poetic devices embedded in the poem (a) rhetorical question (b) metaphor (c) repetition (d) imagery (e) enjambment (f) alliteration (g) assonance (h) personification

Rhetorical Question; a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point rather than to get an answer. "But what can be worthy of your life?" in line 1.

Metaphor; is an indirect comparison in a work of art. The poem The Leader and the Led was built on a metaphorical ground. Examples are "Rage is Chief" in line 11. "Rage is thief" in line 13. "Enemy of equanimity" in line 14.

Repetition; is a poetic device where certain words, phrases, lines, or verses are repeated twice or more to create a sing-song rhythm or emphasis in a poem. Examples are "Heavens-on-earth" in line 8 and 24. "fling roses" in line 7 and 23. "Sails" in line 4 and 10. "Rage" in line 11, 12 and 13.

Imagery; using words or expressions to created mental picture in a poem so the readers can see, smell, feel the event clearer. Few in the poem are "flags of joy" in line 4. "Heavens-on-earth your destination" in line 8. "…toxic fumes on every scene" in line 15.

Enjambment; flow of idea from more than a line in poetry (run-on-line). " The reason you are here? Always strive/ To fly flags of joy, and, sail up streams" in line 3 - 4. "…breeze of love, your course/ Chattered in the ink of compassion" in line 5-6.

Alliteration; successive use of consonant sounds within a line or two in a poem. "dearer than the gems or your dreams" in line 2. "To fly flags of joy, and, sail up streams" in line 4 "Rage drags rags" in line 12

Assonance; repeating vowel sounds within lines. "drags rags" in line 12. "Enemy of equanimity" in line 14. "Heavens-on-earth" in line 8.

Personification; the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something non-human, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form. Examples are "Rage is Chief" in line 11. "Rage drags rags after you" in line 12. "Rage is thief" in line 13. "Rage spells calamity" in line 16.

Raider Of The Treasure Trove By Lade Wosornu

The Poem

But what can be worthy of your life?

What dearer than the gems or your dreams;

The reason you are here? Always strive

To fly flags of joy, and, sail up streams

Powered by the breeze of love, your course

Chattered in the ink of compassion

And, fling roses wherever you pause

Heavens-on-earth your destination.

Of things which would blot out that brief

Or, breach your sails with arrows unseen

No, Rob you of your life, Rage is Chief

Rage drags rags after you, of Charity

Laughter, sweetness and light, Rage is thief

Enemy of equanimity

Rage spreads toxic fumes on every scene.

In essence, Rage spells calamity

It's sole cause? Your perception of storms

Breaking around, not upon, your head

There are either snakes, deviants nor norms;

As you think, so you feel. Watch your mind

Rage sets sail. Can ruin lag far behind?

I'll fling roses wherever I berth

My destination is Heaven-on-earth.

(c) Lade Wosornu

Similar Poem

There are definitely many poems sharing similarity with Raider of the Treasure Trove but picking one is enough. The Soul's Errand is a poem written by Sir Walter Raleigh (1554 - 1618), a renowned English poet.

The poem, The Soul's Errand is written to advocate positive change in activities of humans. The poem is similar to Raider of the Treasure Trove because both poems address the issue concerning human behavior.

READ ALSO: [Analysis Of Prayer Before Birth By Louis MacNeice]

It's time to view some of the themes in Raider of the Treasure Trove by Lade Wosornu. Few of the themes are Rage, Peace, Happiness, Distraction, Destruction, Nature, Change, Love, etc.

Theme of rage is embodied between line 11-14 to portray how it negative effects dent human image and psychological pose. The poet took time to outline ways the act of rage is endangering human:

"Or, breach your sails with arrows unseen

No, Rob you of your life, Rage is Chief

Rage drags rags after you, of Charity

Laughter, sweetness and light, Rage is thief

Enemy of equanimity".

Theme of peace or theme of love is glorified by Lade Wosornu. The message aligned with scriptural advice to be at peace with all human. "Heavens-on-earth" and "fling roses" as used in the poem, are images of peace. With a positive attitude such as peace, humans can live on Earth as if they are in heaven.

Theme of destruction: In the poem, negative attitudes, mostly importantly, rage is capable of causing destruction. Few of the phrases or lines that detailed its destructive tendencies are:

"...blot out brief" in line 9

"Or breach your sails" in line 10

"Rage is thief" in line 13

"Rage spreads toxic fumes on every scene" in line 15

"Rage spells calamity" in line 16

"Rage sets sail. Can ruin lag far behind" in line 21.

Theme of happiness. Unhappiness is the propeller of rage. The voice of the poem supports happiness by condemning rage. Happiness is portrayed in the poem with the use of words such as "joy", "sweetness", "laughter", etc.

Theme of distraction: The existence of distraction is for the purpose of halting dreams, orcausing delay to achievement. "Chief" on the list of distraction is "Rage"

In the poem, the poet used the phrase "Always strive..." Such chosen phrase shows that distraction looms and giving room to it, can eventually "spells calamity".

Theme of nature: the poem employed ocean and oceanic terms to express the beauty of life through nature. The voice of the poem not only compared human ambition to "gems" in line 2 but also placed the clause "sail up streams" in line 4 to represent enthusiasm. Other instances of nature in the poem are "breeze" in line 5, "roses" in line 7, "heaven-onearth" in line 8, "storms" in line 17, "snakes" in line 19, etc.

Theme of change. The necessary need for behavioral change is prominent for those who might have embraced any of the negative attitudes. As seen in the poem, the best instrument of change is the mind. The first line of the last stanza says "As you think, so you feel. Watch your mind". It suggests the priority to always filter one's thought as to avoid the mind being negativeprone. Instance of calling for change can also be seen in the introduction

READ ALSO: [Thematic Analysis Of Ambassadors Of Poverty By Phillip Umeh ]

Title: Raider of the Treasure Trove

Poet: Lade Wosornu

Other poem: The M aster Brewer.

Gene: Poetry

Category: Lif e and living

Denotation: A poem prea ching goodness of attitudes above the embrace of violence.

Point of view: 3rd person

Flow: Climactic

Theme: Rage, p eace, happiness, etc.

Structure: Three stanza poem

Poetic device: Enjambment, im agery, personification, metaphor, etc.

Diction: Simple

Tone & mood: S incere and Re-examination

Similar poem: The Soul's Errand by Sir Wa lter Raleigh


Raider of the Treasure Trove is a poem written by a Ghanaian poet Lade Wosornu. The poem prefers goodness of attitude to the destructive attitude of rage and violence. The title of the poem portrayed humans beings as "raider" while their earthly ambitions are compared to "treasure trove". With the adoption of words such as "sail", "streams", "breeze", "destination", etc. The context of the poem further compared humans existence to a kind of sea voyage.

The voice of the poem encouraged humans to channel their thoughts positively. They should journey through life with a joyful heart and a positive vibe of attitudes in order to arrive at the perfect destination of "heaven-on-earth". But avoid rage which is the greatest destroyer of everything good_ it steals laughter, kindness, sweetness; prevent love and cause calamity.

The poet

Lade Wosornu is an African from Ghana precisely. A Fellow of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. The poet is passionate about human life which reflects in his poetic works; The Master Brewer is an example of poem giving the feel of his poetic ideologies .

Besides literature, science is another field of his choice. According to WritersProjectGhana, "He has had a distinguished professional and academic career in surgery, practicing in Ghana, Zambia and Saudi Arabia".

Summary Of Raider Of The Treasure Trove By Lade Wosornu

Summary of the poem

Let's write out the poem in a prose layman form.

Precious gems and your earthly aspirations can never worth your life as a living. Therefore, always go through everyday of your life in a joyous manner. Driven by love and compassion_ "fling roses wherever you pause/ Heavens-on-earth your destination."

Rage is the greatest among the things that cut-short human lives. Rage is a thief, it's an enemy of equanimity. It destroys your kindness, sweetness, love and laughter.

Rage causes bad impression, calamity its main purpose. Begin to consider your thoughts, rage is a hindrance. I will always act joyfully because heaven-on-earth is my priority. 

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Act 1 is about the death of king Gbanya. Act 2 is about the plot against Queen Yoko. Act 3 is about the suicidal end of Yoko.

Act 1 Scene 1 is where Gbanya reveals the visit of Governor Rowe is dangerous and Yoko advised him to ambush them but the king believed such was impossible. Act 1 Scene 2 is where Lamboi visits Musa with the plan to kill King Gbanya to avoid him passing his throne to a woman all in the name of love. Act 1 Scene 3 is where Rowe visits Gbanya and flogged him. While trying to calm the king's pain, Musa and Lamboi harnessed the opportunity to poison Gbanya but pronounced Yoko the new ruler before giving up the ghost.

Act 2 Scene 1 is where Lansana and Jilo practice infidelity. The next thing is Lavalie and Ndapi complaining about Queen Yoko's motives for waging war. Then Ndapi beats Jilo for not making her meals. Act 2 Scene 2 is where Yoko in her new palace in Moyamba, converses feeling of loneliness with her maids and requested for Jeneba to keep her company. Then Ndapi came to report Jilo and Lansana's infidelity. Jilo was held in queen custody while they search to apprehend Lansana. Then Lamboi planned to blackmail Yoko. Act 2 Scene 3 is where Rowe messenger brought the message of tax to Yoko who agrees to obey tax imposition. The governor also sent Yoko to go crown two chiefs in Taiama. Then Lansana was dragged to Yoko's palace. Then Jeneba was declared missing.

Act 3 Scene 1 is where Yoko returned to her palace to meet a message that large part of her kingdom has been taken away from her by Rowe as if that is not enough, the whole chiefdom humiliates her for using Jeneba for ritual. But the women later found the dead body in the bush. She was so disappointed with betrayal surrounded her so she committed suicide.

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TITLE: Let Me Die Alone

AUTHOR: John Kolosa Kargbo

GENRE: Drama


ABOUT: A tragic drama about a female ruler under colonial reign in Africa who committed suicide as a result of unbearable colonial oppression.

CHARACTERS: Yoko, Gbanya, Musa, Lamboi, Jeneba, etc.

SETTINGS: Mende, Senehum, Mayamba, Taiama, etc.


FLOW: Climactic

THEMES: Coloni al Oppression, Quest for Leadership Position, Greed and Betrayal, Gender Violence, Inequality, etc

LITERARY TERMS: Repetition, Imagery, Vernacular, Adage, Simile, Foreshadowing, etc.


TONE AND MOOD : tone of Rivalry, unrest and disagreement

SIMILAR DRAMA: The Blood of a Stranger by Dele Charley.


The actions in the drama is well designed with reasonable characterizations and coherent dialogues; not to forget settings such as Mende, Senehum, Mayamba, Taiama, etc. Except for the employment of dialect which in way a flaw to the play, the choice of language in the drama is simple.


Drama similar in n ature is The Blood of a Stranger by Dele Charley. The drama is about colonial exploitation in Africa. The Blood of a Stranger is a tragedy where Whitehead (a colonial master) was used as a sacrificial lamb to cleanse Mandoland.

Characters In Let Me Die Alone by John Kolosa Kargbo


1. King Gbanya; he is the husband of Queen Yoko (the protagonist). Gbanya has 37 wives but his favorite is Yoko who he promised his throne to prove how much he loved her.

Immediately after Gbanya humiliation by Governor Rowe, Musa and Lamboi fulfilled their evil plan to poison King Gbanya.

2. Queen Yoko is a power-oriented woman who sacrificed the opportunity of motherhood for the leadership of Mende kingdom. Her hunger for leadership made her acquired neighboring kingdoms and villages through war. She regretted her vain-chase and said to Fanneh (her maid), "I have tasted power alone, so let me die alone"; after which she committed suicide.

3. Governor Samuel Rowe: he is a colonial master who undermines Africans and African rulers both in actions and with the use of derogatory utterances.

In Act 1, scene 3. Rowe said to King Gbanya, "If you annoy me, Gbanya. I will cut out that lying tongue. Soldiers! If anyone makes just one false move. I will pump him full of hot lead. And now, this will teach you never again to go against the command of her Imperial

Majesty in whose service I am proud to be. It will teach you to confine your war boys at home. (Signals to another soldier who brings out a whip which Gbanya is beaten). Stop! Now you dog, get up! You will pay a fine of fifty pounds in the equivalent of cattle and rice. And next time you disobey my orders, you will be arrested and locked up in the colony".

4. Musa: the medicine man in Mende kingdom, well respected and trusted. He became a betrayal after giving in to Lambio's plot to hijack the leadership of the Senehum kingdom.

He poisoned King Gbanya with Alligator gall.

5. Lamboi: Yoko's brother; a glaring traitor in the drama. He not only plotted the downfall of his sister (Queen Yoko), but also pioneered the death of King Gbanya. Musa (the seer and medicine man) is his partner in crime.

6. Ndapi: He is a warrior who fought many wars for Gbanya and remained faithful to Queen Yoko although he was against Yoko's reasons for waging war against kingdoms because those wars were merely for the expansion of Yoko's influence and power. Ndapi is an example of masculine superiority because he sees himself superior to his wife Jilo and beats her like a baby. Ndapi's daughter is Jeneba.

7. Jeneba: she is the only daughter of Ndapi and Joli. Jeneba was portrayed as brilliant little girl and was very loved by Queen Yoko. Lamboi and Musa murdered Jeneba as a means to blackmail the queen and the dead of the caused Yoko a huge humiliation for barrenness.

8. Other characters are Musu (one of Yoko's maids), Fanneh (one of Yoko's maids), Lavalie (one of the warriors in Mende), Lansana (the man having romantic affairs with Jilo), Girl (the Sande dancer), Guard 1 and 2, Messenger ( the black messenger to Governor Rowe), etc.

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Tuesday, 26 October 2021


There are many themes in the poem, such as (a) the theme of leadership (b) the theme of

nature (c) the theme of imperfection (d) the theme of balance.

In the theme of leadership, the title and the context of the poem are fully about

leadership. The title of the poem “the Leader and the Led” creates juxtaposition between

two subjects (leading and following). The whole poem is about who wants to lead and who

doesn’t want to be a follower of a certain leader.

The characters and the setting in the poem, reveal the theme of nature. Such characters

and environment send a feeling of freshness and greenness to the readers of the poem.

Memory of the zoo or that of the jungle book is revived. The forest where every event

happens, the giraffe, the zebra, the lion, the impala, the antelope, are words portraying

living natures.

Another theme in the poem is the theme of imperfection. The poem sends the message

that perfection is not the recipe for leadership. The animals that felt they are worthy

because of their strengths and powerful qualities are disqualified like those who possess


In line 11 – 12 (The elephant trudges into the power tussle/ But his colleagues dread his

trampling feet), the elephant strength disqualified him while the weakness of warthog was

his certificate of disqualification, as seen in line 13 (the warthog is too ugly).

The theme of balance shows that half strength and half weakness is the guaranteed trait to

leadership. Professor Osundare revealed the solution via the forest sage because it takes

wisdom to arrive at any solution to a problem.

Line 17 – 20:

“’Our need calls for a hybrid of habits”,

Proclaims the Forest Sage,

“A little bit of a lion

A little bit of a lamb

Tough like a tiger, compassionate like a doe

Transparent like a river, mysterious like a lake’”

Poetic Devices in the Leader and the Led by Niyi Osundare


The obvious and simple to remember among the poetic devices embedded in the poem

are (a) simile (b) antithesis (c) symbolism (d) imagery (e) alliteration (f) repetition (g)


Simile; creating comparison with the use of like or as. In the poem, there's "like a snake

without a head" in line 10, " Tough like a tiger, compassionate like a doe" in line 19,

“Transparent like a river, mysterious like a lake" in line 20.

Metaphor; is an indirect comparison in a work of art. The poem The Leader and the Led

was built on a metaphorical ground. It is a metaphor of things that happen in a human

democratic setting whenever it comes to the issue of electing a new leader.

Repetition; is a poetic device where certain words, phrases, lines, or verses are repeated

twice or more to create a sing-song rhythm or emphasis in a poem. Just for mentioning

sake, few words repeated in the poem are “pack” in line 2, 10, 15. “lead” in line 9 and 24.

Repetition of phrase such as “A little bit of a” in stanza 12.

Imagery; using words or expressions to created mental picture in a poem so the readers

can see, smell, feel the event clearer. Few in the poem are "But the impalas shudder at his

lethal appetite" in line 6, "And the pack trashes around" in line 16, "The pack points to the

duplicity of his stripes" in line 10.

Symbolism; using word or expression to represent a status, event, or idea. In the poem

The Leader and the Led, the term “Forest Sage” symbolised a wise person which in a

normal human democratic setting represents the poet.

Alliteration; successive use of consonant sounds within a line or two in a poem. "hybrid

of habits” in line 17, “far from the ground” in line 8, “pounce of his paws” in line 4, “The

pack points to” in line 10.

Antithesis; creating an opposing or contrasting opinion or character in a work of art.

This is the dominating poetic device because most line of the couplets share opposite

characters. Hyena versus impalas in stanza 3 “The hyena says the crown is made for him/

But the impalas shudder at his lethal appetite” and the elephant versus the colleagues in

stanza 6. Another instance of antithesis is in stanza 11.

The Leader and the Led by Niyi Osundare


The Lion stakes his claim

To the leadership of the p ack

But the Antelopes remember

The ferocious pounce of his p aws

The hyena says the crown is made for him

But the Impalas shudder at his lethal appe tite

The Giraffe craves a place in the front

But his eyes are too far from the groun d

When the Zebra says it’s his right to lead

The pack points to the duplicity of his str ipes

The Elephant trudges into the power tussle

But its colleagues dread his trampling feet

The warthog is too ugly

The rhino too riotous

And the pack thrashes around

Like a snake without a head

“Our need calls for a hybrid of habits”,

Proclaims the Forest Sage,

“A little bit of a Lion

A little bit of a Lamb

Tough like a tiger, compassionate like a doe

Transparent like a river, mysterious like a lake

A leader who knows how to follow

Followers mindful of their right to lead

(c) Niyi Osundare


Ambush by Gbemisola Adeoti is a poem similar to “The Leader and the Led”. Both poets

are Nigerians belonging to the Yoruba ethnic.

In a metaphorical manner, Ambush by Gbemisola Adeoti buttressed the prevailing

hardship and insecurity in a given community as a result of bad governance; dwellers

were left with nothing but helplessness and hopelessness.

The characters in the poem “Ambush” are animals such as giant whale, sabre tooth tiger,


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