Teacher Guide

Oroonoko Lesson Plan

Introduction to Oroonoko

Oroonoko: or the Royal Slave (1688) is Aphra Behn's most widely read and most highly regarded work. Treating anti-colonial and abolitionist themes, it developed the figure of the noble savage that was later to be made famous by the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and it influenced the development of the English novel. It is regarded as pivotal in developing the female narrative voice.

While Daniel Defoe is often regarded as "the father of the novel." Others insist that Oroonoko should have the honor in that it was written in a novelistic form and is not too short to be disqualified.

While Oroonoko is drawn from Behn's (likely) experiences as a young woman living in Surinam,...

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