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Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Unities

The unities were mentioned by Aristotle in his “Poetics” and amplified by Horace in his “ArsPoetica”. Horace insisted that playwrights should adhere to the unities of action, time and place in their works.
Unity of Action:The play must have a single action (i.e. a single plot). For example, in Ola Rotimi’sThe Gods Are Not to Blame, Odewale kills his father and marries his mother.

Unity of Place:The action of the place must take place in one location. There will be no scene changes from one place to the other. In Oedipus Rex for example, the play starts and ends in front of the palace.
Unity of time:The play must start and end the same day (one revolving of the sun). A typical example of that isWole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel.

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