APHRA BEHN OROONOKO OR THE ROYAL SLAVE PDF

The narrator claims to have known Oroonoko during his captivity in Suriname, South America. Suriname is a British colony at the time the narrative takes place the s. Coramantien is a brave and warlike nation that participates in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, selling prisoners of war to Western ships. The seventeen-year-old Oroonoko becomes the new general, and returns to court an elegant and intelligent young man.

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The narrator claims to have known Oroonoko during his captivity in Suriname, South America. Suriname is a British colony at the time the narrative takes place the s. Coramantien is a brave and warlike nation that participates in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, selling prisoners of war to Western ships. The seventeen-year-old Oroonoko becomes the new general, and returns to court an elegant and intelligent young man.

While at court, Oroonoko visits the daughter of his foster father, the beautiful and pure Imoinda. They fall in love at first sight. They participate in a marriage ceremony but Oroonoko still has to ask his grandfather, the King, for his blessing, in keeping with the patriarchal customs of the society. After seeing her at court, he decides he wants her to become one of his concubines. While Oroonoko is off hunting, the king sends her the royal veil, a sign of invitation for attractive women to come to court.

Imoinda is duty-bound to obey. Due to the strict laws of the Otan, Oroonoko is prevented from seeing Imoinda until the King invites him. Despite being persuaded otherwise by those around them, the lovers remain faithful to each other. Before Oroonoko leaves for war, he is determined to consummate his marriage to Imoinda. With the help of his good friend and fellow warrior, Aboan, he concocts a plan to do so.

Aboan seduces Onahal, who quickly agrees to help the lovers, and Oroonoko and Imoinda spend the night together. Unfortunately, the King, who had been suspicious that something might happen, sends his guard to confront Oroonoko, but Oroonoko flees to the battlefront. As punishment for her perfidy, the King sells Imoinda into slavery, an ignoble punishment, but he tells Oroonoko he has executed her.

Upon hearing this, Oroonoko gives up his will to live and fight, and he abandons his troops, retiring to his tent. When they are about to lose, however, Oroonoko rouses himself from his lovesick stupor and leads his army to victory.

An English sea captain comes to Coramantien, and Oroonoko receives him as a royal guest. The Captain brings Oroonoko across the Atlantic to Suriname, where he sells him to an intelligent and kind-hearted slave-owner named Trefry. Though he esteems some white people, like Trefry and the narrator, he is also rightly suspicious of the lengthy delay regarding his release.

He feels that he will once again be tricked and his family will remain in slavery. Indeed, this is exactly the plan of Deputy Governor Byam, who is part of the colonial government in Suriname and intends to keep Caesar a slave.

Because he is a man of action, Caesar determines to take matters into his own hands and convince the slaves to run away. Led by Caesar, they manage to escape, but their journey ends in disaster when the white colonists come after them. They all fight bravely and Imoinda wounds Byam in the shoulder with a poisoned arrow.

With the help of Trefry, Byam convinces Caesar to surrender peacefully and promises to fulfill all his demands. They write a contract, but Byam almost immediately breaks it. He sequesters Imoinda and brutally whips Tuscan and Caesar. When the colonists come looking for Caesar, he is rescued against his will by his friends.

Sick and dying, he tells them of his plan to kill Byam. They try to encourage him to abandon this idea and focus on recovery. Caesar is again tied to the stake, where he is slowly dismembered, dying without making a sound. Cite This Page Beiner, Suzannah. Beiner, Suzannah. Retrieved March 10, Copy to Clipboard.

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Oroonoko Summary

Buy Study Guide Oroonoko chronicles the story of the African prince Oroonoko and his beloved wife Imoinda , who are captured by the British and brought to Surinam as slaves. The tale is set primarily in this locale on the northern coast of South America during the s, just before the English surrendered the colony to the Dutch. A young English woman, the nameless narrator, resides on Parham Plantation awaiting transportation back to England. During her wait, she has the opportunity to meet and befriend prince Oroonoko and his lovely wife, Imoinda. Before introducing the primary character, however, the narrator provides great detail about the colony and the inhabitants, presenting first a list of multicolored birds, myriad insects, high-colored flora and exotic fauna, and then an almost anthropological account of the natives with whom the British trade and who seem to the narrator to be as innocent as Adam and Eve in "the first state of innocence, before man knew how to sin. Because of their vast numbers, the colonists are unable to enslave them and so must look elsewhere for slaves to work on the sugar plantations--that is, they look to Africa. The king of Coramantien, who is the year-old grandfather of Oroonoko, has also fallen in love with the young and beautiful girl and has beaten Oroonoko to the punch by sending her the royal veil, a gift Imoinda cannot refuse, and which signifies that she is now the wife of the king.

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The narrator opens with an account of the colony of Surinam and its native people. Within this is a historical tale concerning the Coramantien grandson of an African king, Prince Oroonoko. At a very young age Prince Oroonoko was trained for battle and became an expert Captain by During a battle the top General sacrifices himself for the Prince by taking an arrow for him. In sight of this event, the Prince takes the place of General. Portrait of Aphra Behn , aged approximately 30, by Mary Beale The king hears Imoinda described as the most beautiful and charming in the land, and he also falls in love. Despite his Intelligence saying she had been claimed by Oroonoko, the king gives Imoinda a sacred veil, thus forcing her to become one of his wives, even though she is already promised to Oroonoko.

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