Oroonoko Questions and Answers
by Aphra Behn

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What literary devices does Aphra Behn use in Oroonoko?

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Part of the reason why Oroonoko remains of interest to modern readers is because of its ambiguous stance on slavery. The very nature of its title, Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave, is an active point of contention that best describes its sense of conflict. In particular, imagery and third-person narration work to create various, dynamic arguments for where Behn herself and her text stand with respect to the institution.

When we are first introduced to Oroonoko, he is described as being

not of that brown rusty black which most of that nation are, but of perfect ebony, or polished jett. ... His nose was rising and Roman, instead of African and flat. His mouth the finest shaped that could be seen; far from those great turn'd lips, which are so natural to the rest of the negroes. The whole proportion and air of his face was so nobly and exactly form'd, that bating his colour, there could be nothing in nature more beautiful, agreeable and handsome ...

By emphasizing his Eurocentric features, the...

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