Oroonoko

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

King of Coramantien Character Analysis

Over 100 years old, the king is Oroonoko’s grandfather. He has many wives, both old and young. As the culture of his society is highly patriarchal, the king’s word is law, and his lust knows no limits. Even though he knows that Imoinda is married to Oroonoko, the king takes her as his concubine, safe in the knowledge that it would be taboo for Oroonoko to ever take her back, even if the king himself dies. The king is generally portrayed as wicked and depraved, and as lacking Oroonoko’s sense of honor. He often forces himself on Imoinda, and though Imoinda returns to Oroonoko a virgin, the king’s relationship with her is understood to be sexual in nature: he is willing but unable to perform. The king also lies to Oroonoko, telling him that he had Imoinda put to death, when in reality he sold her into slavery—a much more demeaning sentence.

King of Coramantien Quotes in Oroonoko

The Oroonoko quotes below are all either spoken by King of Coramantien or refer to King of Coramantien. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism Theme Icon
).
1. Oroonoko in Coramantien Quotes

Imoinda is as irrecoverably lost to me as if she were snatched by the cold arms of death… Oh! she is never to be retrieved… unless I would either ignobly set an ill precedent to my successors, or abandon my country, and fly with her to some unknown world who never heard our story.

He sent a messenger to the camp, with orders to treat with him about the matter, to gain his pardon, and to endeavor to mitigate his grief; but that by no means he should tell him she was sold, but secretly put to death: for he knew he should never obtain his pardon for the other.

Related Characters: Narrator (Aphra Behn) (speaker), King of Coramantien
Get the entire Oroonoko LitChart as a printable PDF.
Oroonoko.pdf.medium

King of Coramantien Character Timeline in Oroonoko

The timeline below shows where the character King of Coramantien appears in Oroonoko. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Oroonoko in Coramantien
Honor  Theme Icon
...the West Indies (Caribbean). As the last living male descendant and the grandson of the King of Coramantien, a man with many wives, Oroonoko is sent away from court to learn... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...“to ask how ‘twas performed,” and both decide that they need the blessing of the King (Oroonoko’s grandfather). “Resignation to the monarch” and filial piety are both important virtues in their... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
The narrator then provides some details about the old King, who is not like Oroonoko at all. Though he is almost one hundred years old,... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
The King is hardly dissuaded by this news, however. One day when Oroonoko is out hunting, he... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...is Oroonoko’s gift. She expresses her feelings for Oroonoko in no uncertain way before the King. Seeing Imoinda’s beauty, however, the King resolves that he must have her, even though she... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Decided on this plan, the King immediately sends the royal veil to Imoinda. In Coramantien this is a universally understood symbol... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...Trembling and faint with fear, Imoinda dons the veil and departs for the Otan: the King’s private pleasure palace. (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Meanwhile, the King has ordered a bath to be prepared, and he is sitting in the tub when... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...is still a virgin, and says that she would gladly give her virginity to the King, except that it is not hers to bestow on any man but her husband. She... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
The King is furious that Imoinda is trying to deny him, and she is terrified to be... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...to despair to his friends over the hopelessness of ever getting Imoinda back from the King. For even when the king dies, it would be taboo for Oroonoko to marry a... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...to see her won’t be easy. Oroonoko knows that he can only enter if the King invites him—to trespass is death. Lacking an immediate plan to gain an invitation, he can... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
In the meantime, the King is suffering, too. Not only does he feel bad about taking away Imoinda from his... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
To make matters worse for Oroonooko, the King has been asking his friends and attendants how he’s been coping with the loss of... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
In time, Oroonoko and the King have a number of meetings. By carefully hiding his true feelings, Oroonoko convinces the King... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Despite being able to fool the King, when Oroonoko sees Imoinda for the first time since she’s been taken away, he blushes... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...Oroonoko so pained, because now she knows that he still loves her. While caressing the King, she steals several glances at Oroonoko. Whenever their eyes meet, Imoinda’s pained expression tells him... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
When Onahal finishes attending to the King and his concubine, she exits the bedroom and retires to wait until she is called.... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...talk with Onahal gives Oroonoko new hope, and allows him to act unconcerned when the King and Imoinda emerge from the bedroom. The King requests entertainment, and his concubines and young... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...Onahal’s position in the court. No longer beautiful, she has been cast off by the King and is in charge of instructing the young wives and concubines, as a sort of... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
When the King breaks up the festivities to retire, Aboan returns to Oroonoko with the news of his... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
...to the Otan before he leaves. Though Oroonoko doesn’t realize it, spies have informed the King about the persistent love between his grandson and favorite concubine. This is why Oroonoko’s deployment... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...do his best with Onahal. At the Otan, the women again dance to entertain the King, while Onahal and Aboan slip off to a corner. When they are alone, Onahal confesses... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
All this time, the King is engrossed in the dancing and focuses on Imoinda, who seems prettier than ever because... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Seeing this exchange, the King’s jealousy flares. He stops the entertainment and drags Imoinda away, sending word behind him that... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
Behind closed doors, the King confronts Imoinda. He thinks she and Oroonoko planned her fall, and he doesn’t listen when... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...he will kill the first to enter. Recognizing his voice, the men respond that the King has ordered them to investigate the break in. Before departing, they give Oroonoko a friendly... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
Shortly thereafter, the enraged King confronts Imoinda and Onahal. Hoping to buy Oroonoko time and save his life, both women... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
After executing this plan, the King does feel some remorse. He recognizes for the first time that he has infringed upon... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...Imoinda is dead from the messenger’s downcast looks. The messenger also informs Oroonoko of the King’s sorrow and guilt. Oroonoko promises not to seek revenge, because death will be coming for... (full context)
2. Kidnapped
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...to cheer Oroonoko up. In time, his heartache lessens. After ignoring numerous summonses from the King to come home, Oroonoko reluctantly returns. He is received with great pomp, and is honored... (full context)