Semiotics in Intertextual Interpretation in Emmy Idegu’s Omodoko and Sunnie Ododo’s Hard Choice

Author: Mohammed-Kabir Jibril Imanm
Department: Theartre Arts
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Texts are absorption and transformation of other texts with the aid of semiotics; signs and their signifying systems. Therefore, the researcher examines and investigates the utilization of the art of semiotics- signs and signification by playwrights like Emmy Idegu and Sunnie Ododo as reference point. The study critically examines the position of semiotics in textuality and intertextuality and their engagements with semiology. The playwrights’ quest over centuries is to communicate effectively to their readers and audience. Consciously or unconsciously the playwrights apply some of the elements of communication and aesthetics for effective communication with audience and readers. Sometimes playwrights veer into adapting their previous works or works of other playwrights to achieve one objective or the other. Consciously or unconsciously, this may lead to semiotics analysis and intertextual discourse between such plays. This can be seen copiously with the plays of Emmy Idegu and Sunnie Ododo. Therefore, the problem of this study is to evaluate the role of semiotics in intertextual interpretation of modern African drama using Emmy Idegu’s Omodoko and Sunnie Ododo’s Hard Choice. What informed the choice of the plays mentioned above, is the semiotic embellishment and their potentials for intertextualization. The work foregrounds semiotics, textuality and intertextuality as important dramatic techniques for the modern theatre. The researcher adopted case study, interview and content analysis approaches of the qualitative research method. Though there are other research methods like quantitative and mixed research methodology, the nature of this research problem informed the choice of
qualitative research method. The primary texts (plays), and their original background, and interview conducted for the playwrights contributed primary data while books and journals from the library contributed secondary data. The work concludes that semiotics is a useful analytical tool for textual and intertextual interpretation. The researcher suggests that the art of intertextualization and textualization should be encouraged among scholars as it permits the exhumation of convergent and divergent dramatic techniques among modern African playwrights.

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