One of the concerns of drama is to re-enact societal events through performances. This research thus, explores Nigerian historical evidences in dramatic form. The aim is to treat some vicious themes of the colonial era, yet prevalent in contemporary Nigeria. Yerima’s Ameh Oboni the Great directs attention to some socio-economic, political and cultural issues born out of the superiority of wills in governance that need to be addressed for a better society. Thus, adopting the principles of Stephen Greenblatts’ new historicism and Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics; which places history on a transcending platform and makes it possible to relate issues of the past with the present, this study re-evaluates the play for the purpose of contributing to the pool of knowledge available on the subject and for the advancement of society.
The nexus between history and drama accounts for the attraction shown by some playwrights in adopting history as a material for playwriting throughout the ages. Existing studies on historical plays have focused on the implacable explication of historical characters and predicaments in their societies, sometimes, ignoring the artistic techniques of the writers. This study, examines the technique of daydreaming as a pattern of dream to showcase the playwright’s dramaturgy with colonial history in order to investigate the link between the conflict of the characters and the predicament of their societies. The theoretical framework is on Psychoanalysis that allows for the investigation of characters’ emotions which manifest in recurring fantasies. Three of Ahmed Yerima’s plays are purposively selected and critically analyzed: The Trials of Oba Ovonramwen, Ameh Oboni the Great and Mojagbe. Daydreaming, therefore, has become a quintessential strategy for the development of the plot structure, characters and reconstruction of history.