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Virtue in Oroonoko (The Royal Slave) by Aphra Behn Essay

Decent Essays
The story, Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave, written by Aphra Behn, depicts the main character, Oroonoko, as being an African prince that lives among his people, whom all abide by a code of virtue and fidelity. When Oroonoko is faced with a dilemma in his own country and living among a “civilized” white society, that are devout Christians, he is confronted with the burden to uphold his code of virtue and maintain a title of being a “Noble Savage” by means of loyalty, religious beliefs, and honor.
Oroonoko is able to sustain his code of virtue and fidelity by showing an act of true loyalty that proves his devotion and love to his lover and wife, Imoinda. After the King, Oroonoko’s grandfather, vigorously takes Imoinda for himself, Oroonoko
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Oroonoko responds to the captain’s promise, with his own promise:
Let him know I swear by my honor; which to violate, would not only render me contemptible and despised by all brave and honest men, and so give myself perpetual pain, but it would eternally offending and diseasing all man kind....(2333)
After these commitments are made, Oroonoko keeps his promise to the captain, but unfortunately the captain's promise deems as nothing but empty words. Oroonoko proves that worshiping a God, or a man's religious faith, is not what holds a true code of virtue, but his true beliefs of honor and truthfulness.
Lastly, Oroonoko is able to uphold the code of virtue by maintaining his honor and not give into the evils and broken promises of the deceitful civilized white man. Rather than be destined to a life of slavery for himself, his wife, and unborn child, Oroonoko displays an act of honor by killing his wife and unborn child and setting them free. Even through all his misery, Oroonoko is able to maintain his honor to his dying breath. This is apparent when Oroonoko is captured in the woods after he kills Imoinda and awaits his death with honor at the hands of the white slave owners.
“A blessing on thee,” and assured them [white men] they need not tie him, for he would stand fixed like a
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