Oroonoko is a short novel written by English author Aphra Behn () and Imoinda is eventually sold as a slave and is taken to Suriname which is under. “Orounoko ou l’histoire de l’esclave royal” (), a novel by Aphra BEHN Original title: “Oroonoko or the Royal Slave”. Translation in French. Explore ‘Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, ‘ on the British Library website. The injustices of the transatlantic slave trade are exposed through Behn’s graphic and .

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One could argue that if Aphra Behn had been opposed to slavery as an institution, it is not very likely that she would have married a slave trader. Oroonoko hides in the woods to mourn her and grows weaker, becoming unable to complete his revenge.

On balance, it appears that Behn truly did travel to Surinam. The narrator recounts various entertaining episodes, including reading, hunting, visiting native villages, and capturing an electric eel. It is most interesting to me as a former resident of Brazil, from which one of the most intriguing of countries was Suriname.

Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko: The Royal Slave Analysis and Summary

Trefry mentions that he came to own a most beautiful enslaved woman and had to stop himself from forcing her into sex. Books in translation always offer a fascinating insight into others’ culture and history. Or be there more or less of either sex. While the moral propositions in Oroonoko may seem wphra, it’s important to make the distinction between being anti-slavery and anti-brutality.

Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko: The Royal Slave Analysis and Summary | Owlcation

Behn’s depiction of Imoinda is mostly unrelated to the central plot point within the text; the protagonist’s journey of self-discovery. There was no single rebellion, however, that matched what is related in Oroonoko.

Readers were aware of the theme, so Behn wanted to give them something fresh. Later, Cesear defends the conditions that the slaves live in: In other words, we cannot assume that Behn judges the violence against slaves in the same way we do.

The rewriting focusses on the story of Imoinda. At no point does Behn outright criticize the institution of slavery; she merely laments the treatment of slaves. He worries, however, that to do so would make Imoinda vulnerable to reprisal after his death. Discuss this speech considering the audience that the story was written for. A description of Surinam and the South American Indians follows. The theme of anti-colonialism can be seen throughout the course of Oroonoko through the comparison of the way in which the Surinam natives are portrayed, versus the way in which the white colonizers are portrayed.


In Behn’s longer career, her works center on questions of kingship quite frequently, and Behn herself took a radical philosophical position. This never ending love between Oroonoko and Imoinda is evident throughout the novella. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. We partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. At the time of the events of the novel, the deputy governor Byam had taken absolute control of the settlement and was being opposed not only by the formerly republican Colonel George Marten, but also by royalists within the settlement.

It is referred to as being anti-slavery for the horrendous treatment of the slaves within the work by the white Europeans. You can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. Aphra Behn wrote the novel Oroonoko in and based it on her trip to what many researchers believe is Surinam.

The king hears Imoinda described as the most beautiful and charming in the land, and he also falls in love. This is feature allows you to search the site. Though our fhe protagonist is once again linked to the male hero here, she is still evidently given an air of dominance over the white men Behn describes. As Oroonoko tells his fellow oroonkko Tuscan, women are not free to chose their destiny and they have to follow their husband, especially when his honours is at stake, oroooko “honour was the first principle in nature Rivero states that this comparison to great Western conquerors and kings translates and naturalizes Oroonoko’s foreignness into familiar European narratives.

Had Behn not known the individuals she fictionalises in Oroonokoit is extremely unlikely that any of the real royalists would have become fictional villains or any of the real republicans fictional heroes, and yet Byam and James Bannister, both actual royalists in the Interregnumare malicious, licentious, and sadistic, while George Marten, a Cromwellian republican, is reasonable, open-minded, and fair.


However bliss is short-lived as repeated promises made to Oroonoko that he would be freed, along with Imoinda, never eventuate, and the young man, true to his impetuous nature and sense of honour, takes the lead in a slaves’ rebellion; one that is quashed in a bloodbath and ends with the barbaric punishment of Oroonoko.

Soon after her death, the novel began to be read again, and from that time onward the factual claims made by the novel’s narrator, and the factuality of the whole plot of the novel, have been accepted and questioned with greater and lesser credulity. Her plays have quite indistinct settings, and she rarely spends time with topographical description in her stories. The theatrical nature of the plot follows from Behn’s previous experience as a dramatist.

After the surrender, Oroonoko and Tuscan, his second-in-command, are punished and whipped by their former allies at the command of Byam. However, if Behn left Surinam inthen she could have kept up with matters in the colony by reading the Roual Relation that Willoughby had printed in London inand seen ot the extraordinary execution a barbarity to graft onto her villain, Byam, from the man who might have been her real employer, Willoughby. That could have been the end of the story, but it is not; Oroonoko who is trying to forget his forlorn love is tricked by a English captain aboard his ship and taken prisoner.

Discuss the possibility that Imoinda just traded in one form of slavery for another when she was sold. Jewitt England — United States. Through the character, Oroonoko, she shows that some people are meant to be in power.