Oroonoko

Character analysis

From the beginning of the novel, Oroonoko possesses a magnificence that surpasses the character of any man or woman within the novel. Even while he is subjected to a gruesome death, he never loses his composure and dignity. In addition to the content of his character, the speaker demonstrates the prince’s greatness through his physical characteristics. In her text, Laura Brown elaborates on the speaker's analysis of Oroonoko's physical characteristics. The speaker describes Oroonoko as having European features “by which the native ‘other’ is naturalized as a European aristocrat… [and] in physical appearance, the narrator can barely distinguish her native prince from those of England”.[20] Instead of identifying Oroonoko with physical features that are native to Africa, the speaker associates Oroonoko as a great man who looks and acts like a European-English aristocrat. He is respected as a decisive leader among his people, which is especially seen when he and his people are captured into slavery and the other slaves refuse to eat while Oroonoko is chained. Furthermore, his leadership is reinforced when the slaves support him in rebellions.


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