Oroonoko

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The Captain Character Analysis

A seemingly well-bred and genteel English sea captain, the Captain, as he is called, first pretends to be Oroonoko’s friend. The Captain is welcomed at the Coramantien court and treated like a royal guest. One day, he sets a trap to capture Oroonoko and 100 of his men, so that he can sell them into slavery. After throwing a party on his ship and getting the men drunk, the Captain chains up Oroonoko and his attendants. When Oroonoko and his band then refuse to eat, the Captain lies to Oroonoko, telling him that if he will eat, the Captain he will set everyone free at the next port. Ultimately the Captain delivers his prisoners to Suriname and sells them as slaves.

The Captain Quotes in Oroonoko

The Oroonoko quotes below are all either spoken by The Captain or refer to The Captain. 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
).
2. Kidnapped Quotes

Some have commended this act, as brave in the captain; but I will spare my sense of it, and leave it to my reader to judge as he pleases.

Related Characters: Narrator (Aphra Behn) (speaker), Prince Oroonoko, The Captain

He was very sorry to hear that the captain pretended to the knowledge and worship of any gods, who had taught him no better principles than not to credit as he would be credited.

Related Characters: Narrator (Aphra Behn) (speaker), Prince Oroonoko, The Captain

Come, my fellow-slaves, let us descend, and see if we can meet with more honor and honesty in the next world we shall touch upon.

Related Characters: Prince Oroonoko (speaker), The Captain
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The Captain Character Timeline in Oroonoko

The timeline below shows where the character The Captain appears in Oroonoko. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
2. Kidnapped
Racism Theme Icon
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Not long after Oroonoko’s return, an English slave trader arrives in Coramantien’s port. The Captain of the ship has a good rapport with the generals of Coramantien, having purchased many... (full context)
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
As the date for the Captain ’s departure draws near, he invites Oroonoko to dine with him onboard his ship, in... (full context)
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
The Coramantiens get drunk and explore the ship with delight. Suddenly, the Captain gives a signal, and his sailors seize all the guests and chain them up. The... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
The narrator notes that some readers might consider the Captain ’s act “brave,” but she leaves out her opinion, letting her reader “judge as he... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...to starve to death, resolved to die rather than become slaves. This hunger strike vexes the Captain , who stands to lose a fortune if his cargo dies. He sends a sailor... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
Believing that the Captain will keep his promise, Oroonoko agrees and swears an oath. Oroonoko is a man of... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
The back-and-forth between Oroonoko, the messenger, and the Captain continues. The Captain again refuses to release Oroonoko, saying that he can’t trust the oath... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
...he has no choice but to free Oroonoko if he is to sell healthy slaves, the Captain relents. He also concludes that Oroonoko must be able to visit his men in order... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
The Captain finally visits Oroonoko and removes his irons, leaving him to rest and eat, but encouraging... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
On his way off the ship, Oroonoko gives the Captain a furious look, which makes the Captain blush. Oroonoko shouts that he now knows the... (full context)
3. Slavery in Suriname
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...confided his story to Trefry and pledged his fortune and service to him. Trefry abhors the Captain ’s antics, and promises to help conduct Oroonoko back to his homeland. He also pledges... (full context)