HEGELIAN DIALECTIC STRUCTURES IN SELECTED PLAYS OF EMEKA NWABUEZE
The trend of the critical corpus on Emeka Nwabueze’s plays reveals a progression towards truncated scholarship as opinions on them are mostly stereotypical, neglecting the philosophical issues that provide an insight into their universal value. There is need for a fresh insight on the plays devoid of prejudices from previous readings to discourage possible critical redundancy. This study adopted the historical-descriptive design and the theoretical framework was anchored on Phenomenology and Hegelian Dialectics. The phenomenological approach enabled an analysis and description of data not hampered by presuppositions; and the Dialectic method offered a platform for interrogating the opposing perspectives in the plays, to determine how they constitute a dynamic for meaning formation. The objectives of this study were to: (i) ascertain the comprehensiveness and balance of the critical corpus on Emeka Nwabueze’s dramaturgy, (ii) explore the possibilities of Hegelian Dialectics as a legitimate model for discovering the philosophical essence of the selected plays and (iii) analyze the selected plays phenomenologically in order to establish their universal values. The plays purposively selected for this study are Spokesman for the Oracle (1986/2011), Guardian of the Cosmos (1990), A Dance of the Dead (1991/2003/2007), When the Arrow Rebounds (1991/2005), Echoes of Madness (2001) The Dragon’s Funeral (2005) and Lachrymose (2014). This entailed the deconstruction and reconstruction of structures of ideological exchange and oppositions in the selected plays. The conclusion of this study is that a definitive dialectic structure, which clearly follows the Hegelian scheme of Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis mediates the plots of the plays and represents the core of their dramatic essence.