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Tipu Sultan and the Politics of Representation in Three 19th Century English novels

Ayusman Chakraborty, Jadavpur University, India

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 Abstract

Tipu Sultan was the ruler of the native state of Mysore. His fierce opposition to British rule in India earned him unrivalled notoriety in England. Colonial writings usually portray him as a cruel tyrant who tortured Indians and Englishmen alike. This article studies the representation of Tipu Sultan in three nineteenth century English novels – The Surgeon’s Daughter by Sir Walter Scott, Tippoo Sultaun: A Tale of the Mysore Wars by Captain Meadows Taylor, and The Tiger of Mysore by G. A. Henty . In these works, Tipu is painted in an extremely unfavourable light. Arguing that the politics of imperialism influences such representations, this article tries to show how the depiction of Tipu as a monstrous villain served to justify British rule in India. These novels seem to suggest that the British deserve credit for rescuing Indians from such egregious villain. The article also focuses on politicization of Tipu’s dead body. Colonial art and literature constantly return to the scene where Tipu’s body is discovered by his enemies. This article argues that colonial imagination converts Tipu’s corpse to a ‘grisly trophy’ which becomes a sign of British triumph over Oriental despotism.

Ideological Mutations in the Drama of Bode Sowande

Ameh Dennis Akoh, Osun State University, Nigeria

 Abstract

The question of a convenient marriage of ideology and aesthetics in Nigerian drama has occupied the minds of critics for a long time – for some dramatists ideology has no place in their works and thus insist rather on social vision; however, while it is, again, long been established that there is no way of escape from ideology in our time, the concern then is on the ideological mutations in a dramatist and his work over time. This paper engages the works of one of Nigeria’s foremost playwrights, Bode Sowande. The paper discusses the different phases of the ideological mutations of the playwright from spiritual and revolutionary nationalism to what the drama is christened for specific purposes.1 The paper argues that the writer’s sensibilities are shaped by the changing fortunes of the society and the current aesthetic and philosophic tangentiality in the African dramatic and theatrical arts of English expression (Uji 44).

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