RELIGION, POLITICS AND THE REVOLUTIONARY IMPULSE IN AFRICAN-ARABIC DRAMA. A STUDY OF TEWFIQ AL-HAKIM’S THE SULTAN’S DILEMMA AND THE FATE OF A COCKROACH.

RELIGION, POLITICS AND THE REVOLUTIONARY IMPULSE IN AFRICAN-ARABIC DRAMA. A STUDY OF TEWFIQ AL-HAKIM’S THE SULTAN’S DILEMMA AND THE FATE OF A COCKROACH.

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ABSTRACT

The research entitled, “Religion, Politics and the Revolutionary Impulse in African-Arabic Drama. A Study of Tewfiq Al-Hakim’s The Sultan’s Dilemma and Fate of a Cockroach” explores the complexity of the mix of religion and politics from the Afro-Arabian experience and roots out the existential problems which the Afro-Arabian mind has been squashed, hence, stimulating the peoples to demand for change, self-determination and freedom from constituted potentates either by way of mass or popular protests or by revolution. The two dramas of Tewfiq Al-Hakim mentioned above feed the needs of this research and captures, to a large degree, issues concerning the popular protests in the Afro-Arabian world which the dramatist points out and resolves in his two dramas yet remains unexplored despite their lushness. One of the nucleuses of drama is to conscientize and this research observes that Tewfiq al-Hakim’s theatre offers a way out of the issues and dilemma of the Arabian world by addressing key subjects such as religion, race, politics, gender, power imbalances, revolution; time and place. Apart from the Africanness or Arabness or context of which the research perceives these issues, The Sultan’s Dilemma and Fate of a Cockroach address these complexities as universal questions using the interpretative theory of understanding as a means of conceiving these issues.

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 Introduction

Religion is a belief that strives to provide satisfactory answers to devotees about life, death and

rebirth, about man, his fate and his place in the universe (Beier, 1979). The world-views of a

people, community or individual are embedded on their religious thinking which most times

interlace with indigenous cultures. Here, culture meets and mixes with religion to feed the social

and spiritual needs of society or the forces that drive it. Society thrives on the Worldviews of

people and their relation to other societies is dependent on how they use or relay power in their

social engagements and interactions with people within and outside their religio-cultural

brackets. Hence, religion and politics as well as culture cannot be estranged from each other in

societal and social construction. People’s beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature,

and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life plunge

into the margin of the power relationships that exist in specific areas of the society. The


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