An attempt has been made in the preceding chapters to come to terms with a concept of satire in the light of concepts of ritual and fate in the black tradition. Specifically, I have used as a model for my construct the versatile Yoruba traditional deity, Esu-Elegbara, whose ritual and attributes of fate, both in Africa and in the New World, not only illustrate the satirical but also describe the belief and character of his people, and therefore commit them dramatically to a satiric process. In the development of this idea, a concept of theatre termed the Drama of Epidemic has been explored. It is in fact a concept which expresses at once ritual, dramatic and satiric processes, and which is argued to characterize the generality of works by black dramatists both in Africa and in the New World.
The idea of satire that derives from Esu-Elegbara, and which formulates the Drama of Epidemic, is necessarily construed in terms of the ritual origins of satire, which assumes a fatalistic power of the word and a strong belief in ritual efficacies. In this regard, the nature of satire takes a sardonic, sometimes tragic edge, more than a witty and comical one. Although the arguments that develop the thesis are somewhat tentative, satire is seen as a fate indictment, and its victims as victims of fate. This functional view of fate establishes the efficacious power of satire, in fact the "epidemic" factor, as both destructive and restorative. Relating this factor and its process to the drama of the black, the concept demonstrates its applicability in the fateful and fatal interactions and survival patterns as expressed within the black cultures of Africa and the New World.
The overall perspective of the Drama of Epidemic suggests, through its models and dramatic illustrations, that satire, that is, ritual satire, is prevalent in black drama. In this regard, the concept offers a new direction in assessing black