Waec 2023 May/June Literature Drama & Poetry Questions & Answers

WELCOME to Waec 2023 May/June Literature Drama & Poetry Questions & Answers



Answer one question only from this section.

JOHN, K. KARGBO: Let me Die Alone

1. Consider Lamboi and Musa as conspirators.

2. Discuss the use of foreshadow and soliloquy in the play.

WOLE, SOYINKA: The Lion and the Jewel

3. Examine the encounter between Lakunle and Sidi in Morning. 4. Show why Baroka opposes the construction of the railway.

Answer one question only from this section.

JOHN, OSBORNE: Look Back in Anger

5. Does Jimmy love Helena?
6. Comment on the role of Cliff Lewis in the play.


7. What does Troy’s perception of death portray about him? 8. Show why Bono is committed to his friendship with Troy.

Answer one question only from this section.

9. Examine the changes in mood in 4 Government Driver on his Retirement.

10. Consider the use of alliteration, assonance and repetition in Black Woman.

Answer one question only from this section.

11. Comment on the poet’s diction in Do not go Gentle into that Good Night.

12. Examine the use of imagery in Caged Bird.




(1) The play explores the spate of cabal or conspiracy which is a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act. The conspirators in this play includes Lamboi and Musa. One of their selfish aims or objectives is not only to take charge of the chiefdom but also to kill and maim at will.

Firstly, Lamboi together with Musa, the seer and medicine man nurses a plan to poison and have chief Gbanya murdered for passing the Chiefdom to Yoko, a mere woman. Lamboi then compels Musa to poison chief with Alligator gall when Yoko is not available in the courtyard. Part of Lamboi bitterness is the fact that he advised Gbanya not to undertake the Caulker campaign, but Yoko told him she needed more slaves to work on the farm he’d given her, so they had to go to war which was not their own. Consequently, many of their finest fighters, young men died just to satisfy the want of a woman. The fear of Yoko turning the chiefdom and leading Senehun astray makes them come with their plan to eliminate Gbanya.

In addition, as soon as Lamboi’s plan to take over from Gbanya yield no fruit.

This time around, they intend to kidnap and kill Ndapi’s daughter, Jeneba, bury her in a shallow grave. They will therefore trick and manipulate the people to believe Yoko used her as a sacrifice for more power and authority.

Foreshadowing is a device used in literature to hint at events that will happen later in the story. Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet’ is full of foreshadowing, and these subtle hints are used to build tension, create suspense, and foreshadow the tragic ending of the play.

One of the most powerful examples of foreshadowing in the play occurs in Act 1, Scene 5, where Hamlet speaks to the ghost of his father. At the end of the scene, the ghost warns Hamlet not to harm his mother, as she will be punished by God for her sins. This foreshadows the tragic ending of the play, as both Hamlet and his mother meet their fate at the hands of the vengeful Laertes.

Another example of foreshadowing is the appearance of the players in Act 2, Scene 2. These actors will later perform a play that Hamlet has written, which will mirror the events of the play and help him to reveal Claudius’s guilt. This scene foreshadows the eventual downfall of the villainous king, even as he plots to destroy Hamlet.

Soliloquies are another powerful literary device used in the play. Shakespeare uses soliloquies to give insights into the characters’ minds, and to reveal their deepest thoughts and feelings. One of the most famous soliloquies in the play is Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ speech. This powerful soliloquy reveals Hamlet’s inner turmoil and his struggle with the idea of suicide.

Another notable soliloquy occurs in Act 3, Scene 1, when Hamlet confronts Ophelia. In this emotional speech, Hamlet expresses his frustration with Ophelia’s inability to understand his pain. This soliloquy reveals Hamlet’s deep-seated misogyny, and his belief that women are incapable of understanding the complexities of his mind.

In conclusion, the use of foreshadowing and soliloquies in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ helps to create a richly complex and layered work, full of tension, emotion, and hidden meanings. These literary devices allow the audience to delve deeper into the minds of the characters, and to anticipate the tragic ending of the play.

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(3) The play opens in the morning, near the village center on the edge of the market. The ‘bush’ school, that is, the village school Lakunle, the school teacher is nearly twenty-three years old, dressed in an “old style and worn-out English suit, rough but not ragged, but clearly “a size or two too small”. Sidi carried a pail of water on her head and Lakunle complains bitterly about such an act because she is at risk of shortening her neck and also because she has exposed her shoulders for everyone in the village to feast his lustful eyes on. Sidi defends such an action when she says at she decides to fold the wrapper high so that she can breathe, and Lakunle insists that she could have worn something on top as most model do. Sidi becomes furious and reprimands Lakunle to desist from being a village gossip and also calls him “the mad man/of llunjunle. because of his meaningless words, but Lakunle is undaunted because he feels that women’s brain is naturally small, women are the weaker sex, only weaker breeds pound yams, bend to plant millet. He foresees that one, two years to come when machines will do those things and he also hints at his intention to turn llunjunle around for good. Sidi becomes fed up with the meaningless dialogue and demands her pail back angrily but debunks the payment of bride price.

Part of Lakunle’s meeting with Sidi is to make known his intention to marry her and she insists that her bride price must be paid according to their custom and tradition and that marrying him without a price would make people think that she is no virgin and that would bring shame to her family.
But Lakunle resists the idea and describes it as a savage custom that is barbaric and uncivilized. He goes further to educate Sidi on the implication of payment of the bride price and his plan. Lakunle calls Sidi a bush and uncivilized girl who does not want to appreciate and accept civilized romance and ideology.
The introductory part of this play between Sidi and Lakunle shows the cultural gap versus modernity.



In the play “The Lion and the Jewel” by Wole Soyinka, Baroka opposes the construction of a railway due to his personal interests.

Firstly, Baroka, the traditional leader of the village, does not want the railway to be constructed because he believes it will bring an end to his reign. The railway would bring in modernity and development into the village, which would threaten Baroka’s outdated and traditional rule. He is afraid that with modernization, his authority would be challenged, which is why he opposes the railway wholeheartedly.

Secondly, Baroka also opposes the construction of the railway because he believes it would disrupt the traditional way of life of the villagers. The railway would bring in new people and new ideas, which would challenge the traditional customs and beliefs that Baroka holds dear. He fears that the railway would bring change, which would cause chaos and conflict in the village.

Additionally, Baroka is a shrewd politician and businessman. He sees the construction of the railway as a potential loss to his business interests. As the chief producer of palm oil in the village, Baroka knows that the railway would bring in competition, which would negatively impact his business. Therefore, he opposes the railway to protect his business interests.

In summary, Baroka opposes the construction of the railway in the play “The Lion and the Jewel” by Wole Soyinka because it threatens his traditional authority, the traditional way of life, and his business interests.


Throughout the play, Jimmy habitually subjects Helena to verbal and emotional assaults, employing her as a receptacle for his pent-up frustrations. His interactions with her are marked by an air of hostility, disdain, and biting sarcasm. Frequently, Jimmy derides Helena’s privileged upper-class background, readily dismissing her perspectives and values. Jimmy’s treatment of Helena appears to derive from his general dissatisfaction and anger with the world, as well as his own personal circumstances, rather than from any sincere romantic sentiment.

While Jimmy’s exchanges with Helena may occasionally exhibit a flirtatious undertone and sporadic instances of camaraderie, they fail to provide a strong basis for genuine romantic love. Instead, their interactions are predominantly characterized by mutual disdain and antagonism, as well as a shared exasperation with social and political systems they perceive as oppressive.



Troy’s perception on Death which is Mortality is predominant in the play. It is a form of foreshadow where Troy Maxson claims that he literally wrestled with death and won. We see several monologues throughout the play where he taunts and challenges death, almost daring it to try and take him again. Troy’s attitude towards death is relaxed, clam and peaceful. He sees death as inevitable end – a compulsory journey that everyone must embark on as he said ain’t anything wrong with talking about death? That’s part of life. Everybody gonna die. You gonna die, I’m gonna die. Bono’s gonna die. Hell, we all gonna die in his words.

Troy also sees death as being weak and powerless, because one can choose whether to allow it kill one or not. He also recounts how he fought with death in the middle of July, 1941. As he said It seems like death himself reached out and touched me on the shoulder. He touched me just like I touch you. I got cold as ice and death standing there grinning at me. Troy admits that while fighting with death and death throws off his attempt to fight and defeat death. Troy still believes that death will come after him someday because it is not easy to conquer death. “Death ain’t anything to play with. And I know… he’s gonna have to fight to get me” according to him

The fact that Gabe is partially sane, his words foreshadows death that later visits Troy in the end. Death therefore is seen as an ultimate chance for peace. Troy triumphs over death because he never lets fear of it control his life. Wilson seems to speak against Troy’s view of death, and how this view informs his approach to life and the people around him.



in “Fences” by August Wilson. However, based on the events and interactions portrayed in the play, one can infer why Bono is committed to his friendship with Troy.

Firstly, Bono and Troy have known each other for a long time, and their friendship has endured through various challenges and hardships. Bono has seen Troy’s strengths and weaknesses, and vice versa. This familiarity and history create a strong bond of loyalty, respect, and familiarity.

Secondly, Bono admires Troy’s work ethic and sense of responsibility. Despite facing racial discrimination and economic obstacles, Troy has worked hard to provide for his family and maintain his sense of dignity. Bono respects his friend’s determination and perseverance, which inspires him to support him through thick and thin.

Lastly, Bono genuinely cares about Troy’s well-being and wants him to be happy. He listens patiently to Troy’s stories and concerns, and provides him with emotional support when needed. Bono is a true friend who stands by Troy’s side even when he disagrees with his actions.

In conclusion, Bono is committed to his friendship with Troy because of their shared history, admiration for Troy’s work ethic, and genuine care for his well-being. Their friendship is a source of mutual support, respect, and comfort.



In the poem “Black Woman” by Leopold Sedar Senghor, the poet uses various literary devices to convey the beauty and strength of African women. One of the most prominent devices used in the poem is alliteration, which is the repetition of initial consonant sounds in words. The poet uses alliteration to create a musical quality to the poem, emphasizing the importance of the subject matter.

For example, in the first stanza, the poet writes “Naked woman, black woman” which creates a rhythmic sound that emphasizes the beauty and power of the black woman. The repetition of the “n” sound in “naked” and “black” adds to the musicality of the poem and draws attention to the subject matter.

Similarly, the poet uses assonance, which is the repetition of vowel sounds within words, to create a sense of harmony and unity in the poem. In the second stanza, the poet writes “Your laughter: a silvered laugh” which creates a soft and melodic sound that reflects the beauty and joy of African women.

Finally, repetition is used throughout the poem to emphasize the importance of African women and their role in society. The phrase “black woman” is repeated throughout the poem, emphasizing the subject matter and creating a sense of unity and solidarity among African women.

In conclusion, the use of alliteration, assonance, and repetition in “Black Woman” by Leopold Sedar Senghor creates a musical quality to the poem that emphasizes the beauty and strength of African women. These literary devices add to the overall impact of the poem and help to convey its message in a powerful and memorable way.


11). The poet’s diction in Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night” is powerful and evocative, leaving a lasting impact on the reader. Thomas carefully selects words and phrases that create a sense of urgency, defiance, and emotional resonance throughout the poem.

The poet’s choice of the phrase “do not go gentle into that good night” immediately grabs attention. The command “do not go gentle” implores the reader to resist surrendering meekly to the inevitability of death. The use of “that good night” instead of “the” adds an air of mystery and universality, suggesting a broader concept of the final journey.

Throughout the poem, Thomas employs strong and commanding verbs that intensify the emotional weight of the message. Words like “rage,” “burn,” “curse,” and “fight” emphasize the need for fervent resistance in the face of mortality. These choices infuse the poem with a passionate energy, urging the reader to confront their own mortality and embrace the vitality of life.

Thomas also employs vivid and vivid imagery to enhance the emotional impact of the poem. Phrases such as “wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight” and “grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight” create vivid mental pictures that provoke both awe and contemplation. These vivid images further emphasize the urgency and significance of the poem’s message.

Additionally, the poet’s use of repetition, particularly the refrain “do not go gentle into that good night,” reinforces the poem’s central theme. The repetition creates a rhythmic quality that enhances the poem’s emotional resonance, driving home the urgency and the call to action.

In conclusion, the poet’s diction in “Do not go gentle into that good night” is carefully crafted to elicit a powerful response from the reader. Through commanding verbs, vivid imagery, and skillful repetition, Dylan Thomas creates a poem that urges us to confront our mortality and embrace the fullness of life


The use of imagery in “Caged Bird” is central to its impact. Through vivid and contrasting images, Angelou effectively captures the stark difference between freedom and confinement, inviting readers to empathize with the bird’s plight. The poem begins with the lines:

“A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.”

In these lines, Angelou creates a vibrant image of a free bird soaring in the sky, engaging the reader’s senses and evoking a feeling of liberation. The bird’s ability to “leap,” “float,” and “claim the sky” conjures a sense of boundless movement and limitless possibilities. The imagery of the “orange sun rays” adds warmth and brilliance to the scene, enhancing the contrast with the subsequent description of the caged bird.

The poem then transitions to the caged bird’s perspective, exploring its restricted existence:

“But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.”

Here, Angelou uses imagery to depict the limitations faced by the caged bird. The bird is described as “stalk[ing] down his narrow cage,” which suggests a sense of confinement and frustration. The metaphorical “bars of rage” represent not only physical barriers but also the bird’s pent-up emotions and desire for freedom. By contrasting the bird’s clipped wings and tied feet with its defiant act of opening its throat to sing, Angelou highlights the indomitable spirit that remains despite the bird’s captivity.

The poem continues to employ vivid imagery throughout, illustrating the stark disparities between the free bird and the caged bird. The free bird is described as “named of the wind” and “trembling back to the sky,” invoking a sense of fluidity and grace. In contrast, the caged bird’s movements are restricted and confined: “his wings are clipped,” and he “beats his bars in vain.” These images create a stark juxtaposition between freedom and oppression, emphasizing the longing for liberation that permeates the poem.




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