Oroonoko

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Onahal Character Analysis

A former wife of the king, Onahal takes charge of Imoinda after she becomes a concubine. Onahal’s beauty has long since faded, and she is now sort of a head housekeeper of the Otan, the king’s private court and inner sanctum. Onahal’s job is to make sure everything is in order for the king’s entertainment, whether that involves arranging court dances or evening activities with young concubines in his bedroom. Onahal falls in love with Aboan.

Onahal Quotes in Oroonoko

The Oroonoko quotes below are all either spoken by Onahal or refer to Onahal. 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
).
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Onahal Character Timeline in Oroonoko

The timeline below shows where the character Onahal appears in Oroonoko. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Oroonoko in Coramantien
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...that she doesn’t want to be there either. They continue speaking through their eyes until Onahal, one of the King’s older wives and Imoinda’s keeper, opens a door, and Oroonoko sees... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
When Onahal finishes attending to the King and his concubine, she exits the bedroom and retires to... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Oroonoko’s friend Aboan, who has presumably been with Oroonoko the entire time, agrees with Onahal’s assessment. Soon, all three sit down and Oroonoko tries to convince Onahal to help him.... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
The talk with Onahal gives Oroonoko new hope, and allows him to act unconcerned when the King and Imoinda... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
The narrator again interrupts the narrative to describe Onahal’s position in the court. No longer beautiful, she has been cast off by the King... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Returning to the narrative, the narrator describes what transpires between Aboan and Onahal in the window seat. Aboan is a beautiful and virtuous man, like Oroonoko, and because... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
Aboan is no fool, and he knows that Onahal likes him. He recognizes that courting her could help advance his career, and he’s not... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...the festivities to retire, Aboan returns to Oroonoko with the news of his success with Onahal. Oroonoko asks Aboan to continue to seduce Onahal so that Aboan can ask her to... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...with Imoinda before they are separated again. He urges Aboan to do his best with Onahal. At the Otan, the women again dance to entertain the King, while Onahal and Aboan... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
Onahal is overjoyed to hear this. She tries to give Aboan her pearl earrings, but he... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...is engrossed in the dancing and focuses on Imoinda, who seems prettier than ever because Onahal has been giving her news about Oroonoko. Oroonoko too watches Imoinda, and she watches him.... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
...depart for war immediately—if Oroonoko stays another night, he will die for his disobedience. Meanwhile Onahal, recognizing that her happiness with Aboan depends on prolonging Oroonoko’s stay, tells them both to... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
At midnight, spies watch Oroonoko and Aboan arrive at the Otan’s back gate, where Onahal lets them in. They relay this information to the King. Meanwhile Onahal leads Oroonoko to... (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 lie and say that... (full context)