Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Oroonoko (oh-rew-NOH-koh), a prince of Coromantien, Africa. At seventeen, he is the successful general of his country’s army. In love with Imoinda, he is furious when his king, also his grandfather, takes her into his harem. Oroonoko takes Imoinda as a lover. Both he and the girl are later enslaved by the English and taken to Suriname. They try to escape. When captured, Oroonoko is savagely beaten. Caught again while attempting to escape, he is publicly executed in a brutal manner. To save Imoinda from such a fate, he has killed her with her blessing.


Aboan (ah-BOH-ahn), Oroonoko’s faithful companion and friend. Along with Oroonoko, he is enslaved while visiting a supposedly friendly British ship.


Imoinda (ee-moh-EEN-dah), the beloved of Oroonoko. She is sold into slavery by the king of Coromantien after Oroonoko became her lover. Reunited with Oroonoko in Suriname, she becomes pregnant by him. To save her from ravishment and a shameful death, Oroonoko cuts off her head.

The king

The king, Oroonoko’s grandfather, ruler of Coromantien. He is more than a hundred years old, but he wants Imoinda for his harem and treacherously takes her from Oroonoko.

A slaveholder

A slaveholder, Oroonoko’s owner and friend, who renames him Caesar. A kind man, he nurses Oroonoko when he is brutally beaten by his captors after attempting to escape.

The governor

The governor, a brutal, treacherous man who on two occasions promises Oroonoko immunity if he will surrender, only to betray him each time and have him beaten.