Introduction: The Lion and the Jewel is a well -known play written by Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka (1934-present). The play shows Sadiku, the head wife of Baroka trying to convince Sidi to marry the village Bale Baroka. Sidi is the jewel of the play; she is a beautiful girl from the village named Ilujinle.
Sadiku, the eldest wife of Baroka, is inherited by Baroka from the late Baale. As head of Baroka, she tries to convince those ladies whom Baroka wants to marry. In the case of Sidi, Sadiku tries to convince her to become Baroka’s wife and reveals that Sidi has the proper possibility of becoming the first wife of the next Baale. But Sidi refuges her proposal considering Baroka’s age. Sadiku informs it to Baroka.
When Baroka heard that Sidi has refused his proposal he makes a plot to convince sidi by using Sadiku ‘s illiteracy.
Baroka is the lion in the play’s title, at first degrades himself as impotent to make a trap for his victim Sidi. He declares secretly to Sadiku that he has been impotence a week ago. He says:
“I have told this to no one but you, who are my eldest,
my most faithful one but if you dare parade my shame before the world…”
When Sadiku informs Sidi that Baroka has lost his manhood one week ago Sidi thinks she will go to Barokas house and will come back after mocking Baroka’s impotency, but the result is just the opposite. when Sidi comes to Baroka’s house he hired a wrestler and arranges a fixing match to show his manhood in front of a young lady. Finally, Baroka has sex with Sidi by making a strategy. Being raped by Baroka, Sidi returns to Lakunle and declares that all is finished now she cannot take any other man as her husband because she knows that a woman should marry and live with only one man. So, she selects Baroka as her husband than Lakunle. Sidi’s decision proves that she has a strong concept of chastity. If she wants, she could marry Lakunle instead of Baroka. But she does not it for her respect for chastity. In the play, Sadiku is used as a weapon by Baroka to convince Sidi to marry him. The presence of Sadiku shows the level of illiteracy in Ilujinle village in African society.