Contextual Use of Proverbs in Select Plays of Onyeka Onyekuba

Author: Adunchezor Ngozi Gloria
Department: English Language and Literature
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The primary aim of this research is to study how Onyeka Onyekuba uses proverbs in her plays: Regal Dance, Whose Fault and Into the World. The study focuses on the contextual use of proverbs by the playwright. However, as meanings and uses are interrelated, the contextual meanings of the proverbs have been considered in the course of the analysis of uses. The research was mainly library research. The theory used by the researcher was contextual approach which was propounded by Roger Abraham et al. The results observed were that Igbo proverbs are used mainly in association with situations in speech occasions. They make sense and become clearer when they are examined in the context of their application. In Onyeka Onyekuba’s plays, proverbs are used to generate and strengthened plot. Onyekuba uses proverbs to create and resolve conflict, to reinforce her themes, to criticize and characterise her personae and give more meaning and more action to their existence. She applied proverbs to show that they are essential in serious usage and context.

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