The Metaphor of the Muse and Minstrel: A Psychoanalytic Investigation of Tanure Ojaide’s The Beauty I Have Seen


    This paper critically examines the metaphor of the minstrel and the muse using selected verses from Tanure Ojaides’s The Beauty I Have Seen. The unravelling of this metaphor opens up the poetry as nothing short of a beautiful interplay between the minstrel and the muse. There is perhaps no other literary work in the history of modern Nigerian poetry tradition where the relationship between the minstrel and muse has been so profoundly explored. The poetics so espoused in the poetry permeates the subconscious of the reader who is almost transformed into the minstrel who must obey the dictates of the muse if good art must be produced. This is why the use of the theory of Psychoanalysis is central to the work. The metaphor of the minstrel and the muse does not just dawn on the reader at first read. It is reinforced in virtually every verse in the first part of the trilogy. The minstrel is the poet whose excellence in art depends on his compliance and communion with a certain divine inspiration, or muse. Key findings of the work are hinged on the fact that the metaphor of the minstrel and muse should be appreciated by an artist all the time. Also, a young artist must be sensitive to the dictates of the muse if he must produce art that is compelling and sublime.

    Keywords: metaphor, minstrel, muse, poetry, poetics, Psychoanalysis.


    author/Ugochukwu, O.I. & Agada, A.A.

    journal/Tasambo JLLC | 15 February 2024 |  Article 10