Linguistic Stylistic Analysis of Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel

Alliteration, metaphor, parallelism, personification, stylistic devices.


January 26, 2022


This study seeks to investigate linguistic, stylistic devices in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel. It aims at describing and interpreting lexical categories and figures of speech used to convey meanings. A mixed-method has been used to carry out this work. Thus, the quantitative method has helped collect the stylistic devices from the whole play, and their proportion has been discussed and interpreted on the basis of the qualitative method. As a result, the frequency distribution of the lexical categories is established as follows: verbs 37.07%, nouns 25.84 %, adjectives 22.47%, adverbs 14.6%. The proportions of figures of speech are as follows: smile 20%, metaphor 18.33%, personification 18.33%, repetitions 13.33%, parallelism 11.66%, alliteration 11.66% and irony 6.66%. The high proportion of verbs indicates the fundamental importance of the issues of tradition and modernity in societies. The massive use of Yoruba nouns suggests the triumph of tradition over modernity. Basically, adjectives are used to depict beauty and power for the purpose of highlighting the positive aspects of African cultural values and, more specifically, Yoruba culture and tradition. Lexical schemes have been used to denounce the influence of western civilization on African culture and tradition. Phonological schemes, namely alliteration, are used to create rhythmic speech sounds that stress the rhetorical structure of the play to attract readers' attention to the deep messages being conveyed.