[Paper submitted to: Publications du Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches du Monde Anglophone (CERMA), Université Omar Bongo - Gabon].
Bole Butake’s The Rape of Michelle (1984) in its form, aesthetics and subject matter would be described in Brechtian terms as bourgeois theatre method. The realistic nature of the play is seen in the way post-colonial contradictions are brought to the fore. The playwright makes use of adequate dramatic devices to communicate historical experiences. Unfortunately his solutions to political corruption are individualist bourgeois, and thus, miss the larger social quest of the community.
This essay interrogates this early Butake play as a projection of a Horatian, idealist vision with its inclination towards aesthetics and entertainment rather than the Brechtian epic concept of the theatre as a crucial marker of culture and civilization, particularly, in a period of violent governmentality and widespread political collapse.