These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Oroonoko by Aphra Behn. 3, Restoration and Eighteenth Century (Summer, 1994)With a personal account, you can read up to Beginning in 1999, issues are distributed through The Johns Hopkins University Oroonoko’s “stately” royalty suggests an elevation not only above other slaves because of his social status, but his “refined notions of true honour” raise him above even the most powerful white men later in the novella.
Aside from Behn’s descriptions of Oroonoko’s capabilities and their counter effects on an abolitionist interpretation of the work, it is Oroonoko’s sense of honor that makes his fall so tragic. The eponymous hero is an African prince from Coramantien who is tricked into slavery and sold to British colonists in Surinam where he meets the narrator. Not only does this language indicate that Oroonoko’s physical and psychological capabilities differ greatly from the other “negroes”, but also the treatment of Oroonoko results in an almost blind acceptance of slavery as institution by the narrator. Behn is best known, however, the the short novel or novella Oroonoko or the Royal Slave. That someone who is literal royalty and someone who puts into practice high ideals should be forced into a dishonorable life, Behn would agree, is far worse than the practice of slavery itself, an institution the narrator never consistently renounces. Read Online (Free) relies on page scans, which are not currently available to screen readers. All people of power in Surinam, as well as those below, recognize that Oroonoko is not this type of common man, and should not be demoted to a mere slave. It includes historical and critical essays that contribute to the understanding of English Literature. Request Permissions At the end of the novella the whites kill Oroonoko in crucifixion fashion; Oroonoko “still [smokes] on” while his arms and legs are chopped off, like a true martyr, and Behn suggests that Oroonoko maintains his superhuman status posthumously in labeling his dead corpse a “mangled king” (72, 73). Only “by the chance of war” does Oroonoko believe one should become a slave, because honor is “the first principle of nature”; to die with honor is greater than to live in shame, in slavery, and in dishonor (58, 59). Log in The […]For What It’s Worth: Peace and Love In Lysistrata Did you ever wonder why Marilyn Monroe was painted on the side a fighter jet? As a result, Behn concentrates on how enslaving the idea of someone like Oroonoko is the worst of the atrocities committed in the name of Imperialism. Log in through your library In his book On Liberty John Stuart Mill argues the importance of individual freedoms for the betterment of all of society and for the individual himself. All Rights Reserved. Oroonoko utilizes his military skills and through his power in speech gains the support of all slaves, who “with one accord [vow] to follow him to death,” forming a pact of honor (59).
Of all Oroonoko ’s traits, his sense of honor, of knowing what is right and just, makes him most similar to Classical Roman and Greek heroes and renders him most admirable and familiar to a Western audience.
When the other Africans give up the revolt, they violate Oroonoko’s, honor system and become to him “by nature slaves, poor, wretched rogues, fit to be used as the Christian’s tool, dogs treacherous and cowardly” (62).