Aphra Behn


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Oroonoko Section Three Summary & Analysis

Section Three Summary:Oroonoko’s Enslavement

When they believe that Imoinda is dead the king’s subjects admit that Oroonoko loved her all along. The king, having no other heir and relying on Oroonoko to lead his army, begins to worry about the effect news of Imoinda’s death will have on his grandson. He begins to regret his actions and acknowledges that he should have put Imoinda “nobly” (36) to death, not sold her “like a common slave” (36). He sends a messenger to inform Oroonoko of Imoinda’s death.

Oroonoko is about to go into battle but receives the king’s messenger with joy, believing that he is going to be pardoned by the king. Seeing the messenger’s sad face, however, he guesses the truth and lies down, overcome with grief. The messenger asks the king’s pardon and whether or not Oroonoko intends to exact revenge on his grandfather. Oroonoko has no thoughts of revenge, but is so overwhelmed by grief that he cannot move from the ground—not even to lead his troops into battle.

Aboan takes charge, but the army is in disarray and faces certain defeat. As their enemy approaches the camp, the men scatter and Oroonoko is roused from his grief, preferring to die in battle than to be taken as a slave by Jamoan, the enemy. Dressed for battle, he looks “like some Divine Power” and he leads his men to victory, defeating Jamoan and taking him as a slave.

After the battle, Oroonoko Is reluctant to return to court and it takes many invitations from the king before he agrees to return. There, he is a changed man, with no interest in love. Instead he turns his attention to the captain of an English slave ship, a man Oroonoko has met before and whom he finds well-spoken and courteous. Oroonoko sold most of the slaves he had captured in the recent battle to the captain and gave him many gifts. They became friends and to repay Oroonoko’s kindness, the captain invites him aboard his ship for dinner.

Oroonoko accepts the captain’s invitation and along with Aboan, his French tutor, and Jamoan, whom he…

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