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HARMONIA : Journal of Arts Research and Education 16 (2) (2016), 153-162 p-ISSN 2541-1683

Available online at e-ISSN 2541-2426

DOI: 10.15294/harmonia.v16i2.7445

Symbolic Meaning of Drama “Perlawanan Diponegoro”

Nur Sahid1, Sukatmi Susantina1, Nicko Septiawan2
Department of Theatre, Faculty of Performing Arts,

Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Jl. Parangtritis Km 6,5, Sewon, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta 55188
PT Cahaya Dua Creativa, Indonesia


Received: October 11, 2016. Revised: November 12, 2016. Accepted: December 11, 2016


Study on Drama entitled “Perlawanan Diponegoro” or “Diponegoro Insurrection” by Lephen

Purwanto is aiming at deeply digging the semiotic meanings attached to it. This study employed
Keir Elam’s theatrical semiotics as the approach, while Krippendorf’s content analysis was
implemented as the method of study. Citing from Krippendorf, content analysis is a method
that is particularly develop to study symbolical phenomena with a major purpose that is to dig
and reveal other examined phenomena, comprising content, meaning, and essential element of
a literary work.

Keywords: theatrical semiotics; theme; symbolic meaning; meaning; content analysis

How to Cite: Sahid, N., Susantina, S. & Septiawan, N. (2016). Symbolic Meaning of Drama “Perlawanan Diponegoro”.
Harmonia: Journal of Arts Research and Education, 16(2), 153-162. doi:

INTRODUCTION tect Islam from the unbeliever, in this case

was the Dutch (Carey, 2011, p. 700), and
Prince Diponegoro is a famous war- as a war against the Dutch colonialism. In
rior who fought for independence, from the end, the war or insurrection lead by
Java Indonesia. Prince Diponegoro, or kno- the Prince which lasted for 5 years, killed
wn as Pangeran Diponegoro (1785-1855) many victims both from the Prince and the
was well-known as a mystic, an obedient Dutch’s sides.
Muslim, and a warlord, opposing Dutch The war was ended by Magelang
colonialism during the years of 1825-1830. treaty on March, 8th 1930 (Carey, 2011, p.
The prince belongs to one of the famous 778). The treaty had Prince Diponegoro and
national heroes in Indonesian national his- Colonel Jan Baptist Cleerens to discuss the
tory. The guerilla war done by him during reconciliation since February, 1930. Colo-
his glory in most of Javanese major cities nel Jan Baptist Cleerens himself was Dutch
had proven to be able to put the Dutch co- Troops Commander based in Bagelan and
lonialism in a chaos. Banyumas (Carey, 2011, p. 778). The trea-
Prince Diponegoro made his war ty itself was not last long, proven by the
against the Dutch as a holy war against the Dutch’s deception by arresting Prince Di-
invader’s cruelty. This made Indonesian ponegoro on March, 28th 1830. The prince
people felt sympathetic and finally helped was taken to Jakarta to be then exiled to
him during the war. People believed that North Sulawesi. The prince was suddenly
the Prince’s insurrection had two mea- taken to Makassar on July 1933 and died
nings, as a holy war to defend and pro- there in January, 8th 1855.

154 HARMONIA : Journal of Arts Research and Education 16 (2) (2016): 153-162

The history of Prince Diponegoro’s archers specified the analysis by studying

insurrection against the Dutch colonia- only one episode entitled “Perlawanan
lism had become inspirations for several Diponegoro”. The episode selection was
artwork creations, i.e. Raden Patah Busta- based on the consideration of numbers of
man who painted an oil painting entitled symbols appeared during the time it was
“Penangkapan Pemimpin Pangeran Di- on-aired. The symbol itself is an essential
ponegoro” or “The arrest of Leader Prince element connecting the material mode
Diponegoro” (1857), Remy Sylado wrote a (signifier) and the meaning (signified).
novel entitled “Pangeran Diponegoro” or Symbols in the radio drama’s episode
“Prince Diponegoro” in 2008, a dancer na- studied in this study are mainly found in its
med Sardono W. Kusumo created “Opera theme elements and characterizations. As
Diponegoro” or “Diponegoro Opera” in it has been studied, the theme and charac-
2012, as well as Lephen Purwanto, a drama terization is an element forming a drama-
player from Yogyakarta who created a ra- genre-narrative story (Sahid, 2014, p. 1-4).
dio drama script entitled “Perlawanan Di- The characters in the story, such as: Prin-
ponegoro” or “Diponegoro Insurrection” ce Diponegoro, Patih Danurejo (The Vice
in the year of 2016. The mentioned examp- Regent), Adipati Mangarto (The Duke),
les are small parts of many art works inspi- Residen Smissaert, and Prince Mangkubu-
red by the story of Prince Diponegoro’s mi are some of the symbols in the context
struggle war against the Dutch colonia- of theatrical semiotics which the signified
lism. can be analyzed. The incidents and comp-
How artists captured the phenome- lications in the drama “Perlawanan Dipo-
na of Diponegoro’s insurrection war du- negoro” in this study actually results from
ring the past era had proven that the story the conflicts between characters. Therefo-
of Diponegoro’s struggle in defeating the re, the analysis of this dramatic theme can-
Dutch had never been away from being not be separated from the characterization
the inspiration of art work creations. This analysis. The meanings attached to the the-
can be understood and widely accepted me element are analyzed further by using
since the figure of Prince Diponegoro itself the theatrical semiotic approach.
always has the image of a nationalist, pat- From the background information
riotic, populist, and religious. The selfless and context analysis, two research questi-
struggle done by the Prince in defending ons are derived, 1) how is the theme of the
common people is actually valuable and is drama entitled “Perlawanan Diponego-
deserved to be known by current genera- ro”? 2) how are symbolic meanings imp-
tion. Further, it is considerably needed to licated in the drama entitled “Perlawanan
be spread out and learned from the young Diponegoro”? Thus, this study is aimed at
generation, so that the youth will value the analyzing the theme and meanings of dra-
Prince’s struggle for more than just a name ma entitled “Perlawanan Diponegoro”.
of the main street, university, and other
public places. METHOD
Related to the phenomena described
in the previous parts of this study, resear- From research questions and the
cher attempts to analyze the script of an aims, thus, this study implemented the
episode of radio drama about Prince Dipo- content analysis method. Krippendorf
negoro entitled “Perlawanan Diponegoro” (cited in Nuryanto, 1992) stated that the
or “The Diponegoro Insurrection” by Le- content analysis method is particularly de-
phen Purwanto (2011) by using the theat- veloped to study symbolical phenomena
rical semiotic approach from Keir Elam by digging and discovering other pheno-
(1991). The radio drama itself actually had mena of an art work’s content, meaning,
a considerable number of episodes that and essential elements as its main purpo-
cannot be covered in the study, thus, rese- se. This method implies the notion that
Nur Sahid et al., Symbolic Meaning of Drama “Perlawanan Diponegoro” 155

the most important intellectual activity is happened between the performers and
making inferences or conclusion about the audiences, meanwhile “drama” indicates
study goals. The content analysis method network factors which are related to the
in this study was done in particular steps. represented fiction. Thus, the work scope
The first stage was inventory which was for a semiotician lies on two text materials,
done in this study by inventorying the i.e. the drama text (written) and the theater
theme of “Perlawanan Diponegoro” radio text (the theatre performance).
drama. Second was the stage of identifi- Mukarovsky (cited in Elam, 1991, p.
cation that was done by identifying con- 7) stated that symbols are able to identi-
flicts between characters of the drama. The fy an art work, including theater, as a se-
third was the stage of classification that miotic unit in which the signifier is the art
was done by classifying symbols emerged work itself as the “material”, while the sig-
in the drama. The fourth was the stage of nified is the “aesthetic object” that lies on
interpretation. It was done by interpreting the society’s collective awareness. In this
meanings behind the symbols emerged in context, symbol in artwork acts as two fa-
the drama. ces entity which relates the material mode
or signifier with the mental concept or sig-
The drama text is considered as a
This study employs the theory of macro symbol, that the meanings are de-
theatrical semiotics of Keir Elam (1992). It termined based on the total effects. This
has been widely explained that semiotics macro symbol should be divided into
has clear implications for drama and theat- smaller units before the analysis stage is
re study. In the discourse of drama, howe- started. As a result, drama as an artwork is
ver, semiotics allows the investigation of not a single symbol, but more to a semiotic
drama text structurally. On the other hand, unit network that employs work-related
in theater’s discourse, the semiotics provi- symbols. A drama is formed from smaller
des a metalanguage which can be used to units that comprise theme, characterizati-
analyze the language of pictures, physics, on, and plot. The four elements are inter-
and aural of the theatre. The term “theat- related to each other to form an integral
re” tends to link more to the phenomena of unity.
the performer - audience transaction. It re-
lates to the production and communicati- The Analysis of Structure
on of meaning in the performance with the The existence of theme in a story is
basic systems underlying it (Elam, 1991, inescapable. Without this “theme”, a wri-
p. 2). In relation to this, it can be inferred ter cannot develop a story; since the theme
that the study of semiotics towards theat- in a novel or drama is a stand or ground to
rical performance is possible to be done build the story further (Saad, 1967, p. 62).
both for certain element attached to the A writer will always combine the theme
performance −for instance, the element of together with several other story facts and
drama of a theatre performance− and the tools of storytelling till the story is fully
whole theater performance. In this study, structured. H. J. Waluyo (2007, p. 24) men-
the analysis focuses only on the element of tioned theme as main idea included in the
drama (the written text) of the radio drama drama. Further argued by Waluyo that in
“Perlawanan Diponegoro”, and not on the a drama, theme will be developed through
radio drama as an oral performance. dramatic plot inside the main plot through
Elam (1991, p. 2) mentioned “dra- protagonist and antagonist characters with
ma” as a fiction work which is designed a characterization that allows conflicts that
as stage representation and constructed are formulated in a form of dialogue.
based on specific drama conventions. In A writer inserts theme together with
other words, “theater” is limited to what facts and events occurred in the story. A
156 HARMONIA : Journal of Arts Research and Education 16 (2) (2016): 153-162

theme is an element that is used as a unifier The Nationalism Spirit

of other story elements, such as: character, Prince Diponegoro seemed to have
plot, and dialogue. Kernodle (1978, p. 270) a spirit of nationalism. For him, the Dutch
stated that sometimes a writer reveals the should not own the Java land. The prince
story theme implicitly through characters had a famous vow saying that he better
and setting. Argued further by Kernodle died than giving the Java land to the Dutch.
that usually a theme can be in a form of This was clearly seen from the dialogue:
the moral value of attitudes that are deve-
loped in life. Diponegoro:
The drama entitled “Perlawanan Di- Ini Pangeran Diponegoro tidak akan
ponegoro” showed social conflicts of the tunduk kepada kompeni Belanda. Sedu-
main character of the story, Prince Dipo- muk batuk senyari bumi. Tidak ada ta-
negoro on one side and Patih Danurejo in nah untuk penjajah. Allahu akbar. Kita
tak bisa diam dijajah dan diinjak kom-
another side. The illustration of events hap-
peni Belanda. Ayo lawan….. Allahu Ak-
pened during the insurrection war lead by bar! Allahu Akbar..!! (Musik pelan ke-
Prince Diponegoro against the misconduct mudian berubah ke nada timggi heroik.
behavior done by Patih Danurejo who was Terdengar lirih suara ringik kuda).
supported by the Dutch, had sharpen the ..................` dan tak akan menyerah! Ayo ra-
conflict between the two parties. The social kyatku berjihad fi sabilillah sekarang! (Pur-
condition was illustrated by the writer to wanta, 2011, p. 38).
emphasize the society’s anxiety throug-
hout the country. The dialogue illustrates the Prince’s
The society anxiety was caused by stance which stands still against the
Patih Danurejo’s misconduct behavior in Dutch’s colonialism. His stance is based on
taking the land owned by people of Te- the belief had by the Prince that defending
galrejo village deliberately to build the homeland is part of jihad fi sabililillah (a war
Dutch’s railroads. Tegalrejo people who for religion sake to beat the enemy of Is-
were led by Prince Diponegoro could not lam; to defend Islam from non-believers).
accept the misappropriate behavior done Prince Diponegoro’s action to fight
by both the Dutch and Patih Danurejo. As against colonial is not a form of rebellion
a result, the Prince’s cohort pulled out the against Kasultanan or the Kingdom of Ma-
border signs that were planted as the land taram. Even the Prince still belongs to the
border. The anxiety was then also resulted Kingdom’s descendant. What the Prince
in an uncertain socio-politic condition. countered was the misconduct behavior
Prince Diponegoro struggled in his at- of the Dutch who had spoiled the rights
tempt to stand up for the fairness of peop- of Mataram’s common people. As a Mus-
le in Tegalrejo, however, some people like lim and a teacher of Islam, the Prince was
Patih Tegalrejo who preferred to take the a wise, fair, polite, and refined man. Even,
Dutch’s side for his own advantage. he actually did not like to war.
As a local person, Patih Danurejo
was never touched seeing the misery had Pangeran Mangkubumi:
by people in Tegalrejo whom land was ta- Jangan berperasaan begitu. Kita semua
ken by the Dutch. Patih Danurejo even as- wong Jawa dijajah dan didholimi Belan-
da. Warga Ngayogya kini semakin bera-
ked for Residen Missaert’s help to confront
ni melawan Belanda, setelah Nak Pange-
Prince Diponegoro eventhough Prince ran meneladani mereka. Mengobarkan
Mangkubumi who acted as Sultan (King) perlawanan kepada kompeni.
Menol’ advisory did not approve the batt- Pangeran Diponegoro:
le planned by Danurejo and Missaert. The Paman apa kita berdamai saja? Agar ti-
fact showed how Danurejo disrespected dak terjadi korban jiwa dan darah sia-sia
Sultan Menol as the King of Kasultanan akan membanjiri Tegalreja.
Yogyakarta. Pangeran Mangkubumi:
Nur Sahid et al., Symbolic Meaning of Drama “Perlawanan Diponegoro” 157

Insya Allah dengan membaca basmalah. side of Pangeran Diponegoro. They admi-
Allah akan mengampunimu Nak Pan- red Prince Diponegoro as a fair, wise, nob-
geran. Niatkanlah sebagai jihad. Bukan le, and faithful man, especially in defen-
semata-mata berperang melawan kelali- ding his homeland (Purwanta, 2016, p. 34).
The personality of Prince Diponegoro was
Pangeran Diponegoro:
Begitu paman mendukung niat suci un-
opposite to Patih Danurejo. This opened
tuk berjihat. Akan kuucap basmallah. the conscience inside Mangarto’s soul in
Saya sendiri tak berarti. which he realized that he also needed to
Pangeran Mangkubumi: defend his land. As a result, Mangarto told
Ucapkan basmalah. Insya Allah paman Patih Danurejo and Residen Smissaerts’s
akan berada di depan dan dibelakang- plan to attact Tegalrejo to Prince Mangku-
mu Nak! bumi and Sultan Menol. Mangarto’s acti-
Pangeran Diponegoro: on reflected the spirit of nationalism to his
Alhamdullilah paman. Semoga perjuan- own nation.
gan ini memang karena hidayah Allah.
In addition, the spirit and action that
Bukan niat dendam dan amarah dari
diri Ontowiryo.
reflected nationalism could also be seen
Pangeran Mangkubumi: from the character of Prince Mangkubu-
Insya Allah, akan kami bela. Akan ku- mi who, as the King’s advisor, could not
tinggalkan tahta dan penuh iman berada be persuaded by both Patih Danurejo and
di belakang Pangeran Diponegoro. Residen Smissaert to issue the decision of
Allahu Akbar!!! (Purwanta, 2011, p. war. It showed his wisdom and careful-
51-52). ness.

The dialogue presented the discus- Residen Smissaert:

sion between Prince Diponegoro and his Pangeran itu hanya penasehat Sultan Me-
uncle, Prince Mangkubumi which acted as nol, bukan sebagai Patih. Jadi tidak berhak
menghalangi kami menanyakan sesuatu ke-
the advisor of The King of Mataram. The
pada Sultan Menol.
prince finally decided to war because of
Patih Danurejo:
the support he had from his uncle. Patih Mangku! Ini soal darurat kok harus
The strong character of Prince Di- dengan aturan adat berbelit. Biar Sultan
ponegoro and his attitude had resulted Menol langsung memberi titah!
in supports he gathered from the people Pangeran Mangkubumi:
of Mataram. The prince’s followers were Kanjeng Sultan Menol masih perlu bimbin-
motivated by the religious talk, lecture, gan sebelum memutuskans sesuatu. Saya,
and speech given by him. The prince al- Ibunda Ratu Sultan dan Kanjeng Pangeran
ways asked the people to stand for their Diponegoro berhak bertanya kepada Patih
dan Tuan duduk soalnya, sebelum ada titah
homeland. Even, Panglima Arkiya, the
dari Sultan Menol (Purwanta, 2011, p. 41).
prince’s right-hand man offered to pull all
the border signs put by the Dutch soon af-
Mangkubumi was never afraid of
ter it was planted (Purwanta, 2016, p. 30.
Danurejo and Missaert’s insistence in
The attitude of Arkiya reflects the high spi-
doing war. He believed that Prince Dipo-
rit of nationalism. He was never afraid of
negoro would never rebel the Kingdom.
Danureja’s troops.
Prince Diponegoro had a soft hard, polite,
In other sides, the character of Man-
and had an adequate understanding of Is-
garto who was first introduced as the follo-
lam that he would never betray the King-
wer of Patih Danureja then later started to
realize his mistake also reflected the spirit
Apathy shown by Prince Mangku-
of nationalism. It was told that after Patih
bumi when Danurejo told him that he was
Danureja’s failed attempt to destroy Tegal-
just an advisor and not the King (Purwan-
reja village, half of Patih Danureja’s troops
ta, 2011, p.42). Mangkubumi believed that
withdrew themselves and moved to the
158 HARMONIA : Journal of Arts Research and Education 16 (2) (2016): 153-162

Prince Diponegoro was a decent warrior jo village. It was clear that Patih Danurejo
and took what Danurejo’s had said as a did not have the spirit of nationalism to his
defamation. own nation. Though he claimed himself
to be the royal official of Kasultanan Ma-
Traitor of Society taram, however, his orientation tended to
If the protagonist characters were help the Dutch. The border sign planting
people dedicating themselves for the so- in the land of Tegalrejo people was the
ciety, on the contrary was the character of Dutch’s project to quicken the distributi-
Patih Danurejo. As a patih or vice regent, on of farming product had by the Dutch.
he always took every decision in his own People of Mataram never felt or even got
way. He tended to close to Residen Smissa- advantages from the project. Because of
ert rather than to the Royal family. This can this reason, Prince Diponegoro and the
be seen from the events of the story. For people of Tegalrejo fought against the bor-
instance, when Patih Danurejo’s troops − der line installation used for the railroad
which were under the command of Adipa- construction.
ti Mangarto− lost during the war against In this case, the character of Resi-
Prince Diponegoro, he directly went to den Smissaert also had an essential role in
Vredebrug Fort to ask for a help from Re- influencing the decisions taken by Patih
siden Smissaert (Purwanta, 2011, p. 35-36). Danurejo. Patih Danurejo tended to fol-
low the order and programs delivered by
Patih Danureja: Residen Smissaert. This was done by Pa-
Berapa yang mati? Pihak musuh? tih Danurejo since he had an idea that the
Adipati Mangarto: King was too young to rule a kingdom. The
Seratus prajuritku mati hanya ditatap King was only a child who had not been
Pangeran Diponegoro.
ready to rule a Kingdom. Yet, it was not
Patih Danureja:
Apa? Kurangajar!!! entirely true. In ruling the Kingdom, the
Adipati Mangarto: Sultan was advised by Prince Mangkubu-
Saya yang dibiarkan hidup dan meny mi and the Queen, the Prince’s biological
ampaikan salam kepada Kanjeng Patih. mother. Therefore, the leadership of Sultan
Patih Danureja: Menol was actually reliable.
Salam apa? Aku harus segera melapor ke
Residen Smissaert di Beteng. Ayo kamu The Main Conflicts of the Story
ikut! (Purwanta, 2011, p. 35). Both nationalism spirit and traitor
of the society are problems implied in the
The action done by Patih Danurejo drama radio “Perlawanan Diponegoro”.
by directly reporting his losing to Residen The main conflict underlying the conflicts,
Smissaert reflects his attitude on taking however, was the occurrence of political
the Dutch’s side rather than the Mataram hegemony attempt by the Dutch as the
people’s. colonialist towards the people in Mata-
Even, in order to convince the Sultan, ram. The Dutch’s plan to build railroads
he slandered Prince Diponegoro. It was to quicken their farming product delivery
said by Patih Danurejo that Prince Dipo- to Batavia became the main purpose. The
negoro was a traitor who had killed hun- railroad building was started by giving
dreds of the Vice Regent’s troops, and that borderline sign to the local people’s land,
the prince had bad behavior in disturbing including the land owned by Prince Dipo-
the railroad workers. His purpose was no negoro in Tegalrejo village.
other than to get the Sultan’s permission to Both Pangeran Diponegoro and
do war against Prince Diponegoro. The Tegalrejo people believed that what
Betrayal towards his own nation was done by the Dutch was a form of ex-
was seen clearer when Patih Danurejo and propriation of ancestral land which must
Smissaert decided to finally attack Tegalre- be resisted. As a result, the Diponegoro’s
Nur Sahid et al., Symbolic Meaning of Drama “Perlawanan Diponegoro” 159

insurrection to fight against the Dutch was Smissaert in a war taken place in Tegalrejo
supported by the society. Prince Dipone- village. The plot developed in this drama
goro himself believed that his fight against seems to be influenced by the story theme.
the Dutch was a realization of jihad fi sabi- Therefore, there is a solid relationship bet-
lillah or a holy war to defend Islam from ween the theme and characterization, the
the non-believer (Purwanta, 2011, p. 38). characterization and story plot, and the
Therefore, the Diponegoro’s insurrection story plot and theme.
contained both worldly and afterlife mo-
tivation. This made the insurrection to be The Meaning of Symbols
unstoppable. Even, the blessing given by It has to be known that every aspect
Mangkubumi increased the motivation of performance is managed by denotati-
had by the prince. on dialectics, such as, setting, the actor’s
From the conflicts contained in the body, the actor’s movement, and the
story, then it can be inferred that the the- actor’s utterance that all determine and are
me of radio drama entitled “Perlawanan determined by primer and secondary mea-
Diponegoro” can be formulated into a sen- ning symbols that are constantly changed
tence, “colonialism to other nations will (Elam, K., 1991, p. 11). Certain symbol does
be always opposed by the local people not only contain one particular meaning,
whenever the colonial does not respect the but also semiotic symbol of a performance,
rights of the colonialized people”. for instance, a cloth can show the social-
The theme seems to inspirit the who- economy level, psychology, and even mo-
le story plot and characterization. The dif- ral of the wearer.
ferent characterization and life attitude of It is sure, however, that in theatrical
the involved characters of the story, like, semiotics, connotations are not naturally
Prince Diponegoro, Patih Danurejo, Resi- unique. In contrast, the ability of audien-
den Smissaert, Prince Mangkubumi, Adi- ce in receiving semiotic meanings depends
pati Mangarto, Panglima Arkiya, etc seem closely on extra-theatrical and cultural va-
to be accumulated into a story theme. The lues contained in certain objects, mode of
conflicts emerged throughout the story is discourse, or behavioral forms. It is pos-
rooted in different characterization and sible that, in the end, the audience does
way of life had by the characters. The con- not socially realize the meanings they
flicts are then resulted in variety of prob- give to several theatrical phenomena, ho-
lems as told in the previous sub sections wever, theatrical communication allows
of this study. In relation to this, all the con- these symbols to influence the practical
flicts emerged in the story are formulated functions of a theater in which everything
into a theme which is described. works only to the extent that it has mea-
In other sides, the differences in cha- ning.
racterization are resulted in various con- In its relation to the values which
flicts that caused the plot to move forward. are coded socially, the theatrical semiotics
The story is developed dynamically from constantly connotate ‘itself’ (Sahid, 2012,
the conflict between the right-hand man of p. 50-57). It means, the connotative aspect
Prince Diponegoro, Panglima Arkiya, who works in a whole performance which al-
fought against the troops of Patih Danurejo lows audience to categorize everything
about the borderline, into the conflicts had presented to them from normal social pra-
by Residen Smissaert and Patih Danurejo xis, and therefore perceiving performance
against Sultan Menol and Prince Mangku- as “a symbolical network” or as “a text”. In
bumi which resulted from the King and its relation to transformability or mobility
prince’s unwillingness to permit the war of Bogatyrev signs, it is stated that sym-
against Prince Diponegoro. As a result, the bols may have semantical meanings, not
biggest conflict emerged involving Prince only in the level of connotation but also the
Diponegoro, Patih Danurejo and Residen denotation (Elam, 1991, p. 12).
160 HARMONIA : Journal of Arts Research and Education 16 (2) (2016): 153-162

In line with Elam (1991), in analy- help from Smissaert in fighting against
zing symbolical meanings contained in Prince Diponegoro.
radio drama “Perlawanan Diponegoro”, In connotative meaning, the betrayal
the meanings analyzed are not only in the done by Danurejo in the context of current
level of denotative meaning but also the Indonesian society can be interpreted as
connotative one. symbolization of public figure, scientist,
conglomerate, government official, or na-
The Meaning of Prince Diponegoro Char- tion leader who takes advantage from sel-
acter ling country’s asset, policy, and influence
In the context of theatrical semiotics, to other nations so that the other nations
the existence of Prince Diponegoro cha- get chances to dominate and control the
racter who struggle to defend Mataram socioeconomic of Indonesia. This type of
people whole heartedly (signifier) can be person does not have the spirit of nationa-
interpreted as a man having high spirit of lism. They are willing to be a traitor for the
nationalism (signified). As the heredity of sake of personal advantage.
Yogyakarta Royal Family, Diponegoro ac-
tually can live in prosper without the need Meaning of Residen Smissaert Character
to struggle to fight the Dutch. However, In semiotic meaning, the action of
his high pride and humanismhave led him the Resident Smissaert character is cruel
to be a national hero rather than common towards Prince Diponegoro and the
Royal family who live comfortably wit- Tegalrejo’s society. Placing border signs
hout struggling. in the villagers’ land (signifier) can be in-
At the level of connotative meaning, terpreted as a form of arrogance of power
the struggle of the prince seems to equal to (signified). The cruelty of Smissaert to the
the struggle of the current nations’ youth local people has purposed to build rail-
to fight against foreign influence in the roads to accelerate the delivery of farming
field of economy, culture, etc. But, it needs products from Java to Batavia.
to be admitted that the influence of foreign In connotative meaning, the cruelty
nation can be also through the education of Smissaert to the local people in the con-
institution (Jaya, 2012, p. 133-140). As it text of the present time can be interpreted
has been known, even when Indonesia has as an action of many foreign companies
gained its independence, however, certain who run the company in their own way
fields like economy, culture, and education without obeying the rule and neglecting
still receive high intervention from foreign local people’s right. These companies only
parties. In fact, the foreign intervention in want to get the most of the resources of In-
those fields are strong enough. Therefore, donesia. As it has been known, there are
it is natural and understandable that some plenty global companies which run their
youths are still fighting for the economic, businesses in Indonesia only for their per-
politic, cultural, and educational sovereig- sonal advantages. They never think of the
nty. negative impact caused by their compa-
ny for the local people. The case of was-
Meaning of Patih Danurejo Character te disposal misconduct from multinatio-
In semiotic meaning, the action of nal mining companies in various places
Danurejo who takes Residen Smissaert’s throughout Indonesia prove how compa-
side and is cruel to his own people (sig- nies neglect the life of local people living
nifier) can be interpreted as the symbol of around their companies. Even, there are
nation’s traitor (signified). In the history also plenty companies which avoid paying
of Indonesia during its struggling time, tax to the government.
people like Patih Danurejo always exists. Meaning of Placing Borderline in Tegal-
They tend to seek personal advantage over rejo Village
people’s misery. Danurejo always asks for Placing borderline throughout The
Nur Sahid et al., Symbolic Meaning of Drama “Perlawanan Diponegoro” 161

Tegalrejo village to build railroads by the fully.

troops of Patih Danurejo (signifier) con-
tains semiotic meanings related to com- Meaning of Prince Diponegoro’s Insur-
mon people’s right deprivation (dignified). rection Against Residen Smissaert
The existence of local people as the citizen The Prince Diponegoro’s insurrec-
of Mataram has been violated by Danure- tion to the colonial under the command
jo. This fact triggers Prince Diponegoro’s of Residen Smissaert (signifier) can be
anger and lead him to declare war against interpreted as the fight of santri (student
the Dutch. learning Islam) against non-believer. Di-
In connotative meaning, the incident ponegoro refers the colonial who has co-
of placing the border line throughout the lonialized Tegalrejo people as non-believer
native people’s land is identical with evic- or secular. However, the term non-believer
tion in many private places, like housing or secular does not mean that the Prince
or rice fields owned by local people that literally fights against one who does not
is done by the government on behalf of believe in Islam, but more with the enemy
the national infrastructure development. who has taken away Tegalrejo people’s an-
Building infrastructure by evicting local cestral land forcefully.
people’s private property has been happe- In connotative meaning, the war bet-
ning since the era of President Soeharto’s ween Diponegoro and the Dutch is identi-
Orde Baru (The New Order). Usually, cal with the insurrection done by several
people can do nothing to defend their Indonesia’s socio-religious organization
rights. that has been in a war against the bad in-
fluence of western culture, such as: drin-
Meaning of The Action of Pulling Out king, drugs, free sex, etc. This insurrection
the Borderline is not yet over since the western influence
It can be understood that pulling the has not lost yet.
borderline out of the land of Tegalrejo’s
people by the troops of Prince Diponegoro CONCLUSION
(signifier) can be interpreted as the rise of
consciousness to uphold truth and justice There are two major conclusions of
among Tegalrejo citizen (signified). Pan- the study. First, the drama entitled “Per-
geran Diponegoro’s troops and the local lawanan Diponegoro” has a heroic theme
people bravely attack the policy had by Pa- that is formulated into a sentence “colo-
tih Danurejo and Residen Smissaert who nialism to other nations will be always
are considered robbing the local people’s opposed by the local people whenever the
land inherited from the ancestors. colonial does not respect the rights of the
The incidents described in the pre- colonialized people”. This theme inspirits
vious paragraph can be interpreted as local the whole story.
people revival in struggling for their per- In semiotics, the meanings contained
sonal rights, both the personal, proprieta- in the drama entitled “Perlawanan Dipone-
ry material, social, cultural, etc. Since the goro” has both denotative and connotative
reformation era, the awareness in fighting meanings. These connotative meanings are
for common people rights are raised both contextual and related to the problems had
in its relation to the leader or financier. by Indonesian people nowadays.
Even when the struggle has no guarantee
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