Oroonoko

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Trefry Character Analysis

Trefry is a young Cornish gentleman in Suriname. He is skilled in math and linguistics, and manages Governor Byam’s affairs. He also speaks French and Spanish. Trefry buys Oroonoko from the Captain and, after getting to know Oroonoko’s story, feels great sympathy for his plight. He gives Oroonoko the name Caesar and promises to help him back to his homeland. They become great friends, and Trefry always tries to look out for Oroonoko, though Oroonoko often gets frustrated by the lack of progress toward achieving his liberty. Trefry introduces Oroonoko to a beautiful slave he knows as Clemene, but whom Oroonoko realizes is actually Imoinda. After Oroonoko is killed, Trefry begins to record his biography, but dies before he can finish it.

Trefry Quotes in Oroonoko

The Oroonoko quotes below are all either spoken by Trefry or refer to Trefry. 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
).
3. Slavery in Suriname Quotes

He saw an honesty in his eyes, and he found him wise and witty enough to understand honor: for it was one of his maxims, A man of wit could not be a knave or villain.

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

He begged Trefry to give him something more befitting a slave, which he did, and took off his robes: nevertheless he shone through all, and his osenbrigs…could not conceal the graces of his looks and mien; and he had no less admirers …the royal youth appeared in spite of the slave, and people could not help treating him after a different manner, without designing it.

Related Characters: Narrator (Aphra Behn) (speaker), Prince Oroonoko, Trefry
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Trefry Character Timeline in Oroonoko

The timeline below shows where the character Trefry appears in Oroonoko. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
2. Kidnapped
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
...of his men are put in separate lots along with other slaves. A man named Trefry buys the first lot, which contains Oroonoko and 17 more slaves. (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...the truth about the Captain and the gods he swears by. As he leaps into Trefry’s boat, Oroonoko urges his fellow slaves to not resist, because they might “meet with more... (full context)
3. Slavery in Suriname
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
During Oroonoko’s boat ride, the narrator describes Trefry, the young Cornish gentleman who has purchased Oroonoko. Trefry manages the plantation of an unnamed... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
Trefry immediately recognizes that Oroonoko is different from the average slave, due to his fancy garb... (full context)
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
Trefry’s behavior and their discovered common interests help Oroonoko relax on the boat ride. The two... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...of this “backearary,” or white person, are necessarily creditable. But he also sees sincerity in Trefry’s face, and is impressed enough by his wisdom to have some hope in his new... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
While they have been travelling upriver, Trefry has periodically stopped in at great riverside estates for refreshments. At these stops, large crowds... (full context)
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Also during the journey to the plantation, Trefry gives Oroonoko a Christian name, a common practice amongst slave owners. For the rest of... (full context)
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Some white gentleman who accompany Caesar watch this spectacle with intrigue, because it confirms Trefry’s hunch that Caesar is not ordinary. Caesar doesn’t like this attention, however, and urges the... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
During the dinner, Trefry, who “loves to talk of love,” tells Caesar about Clemene, the beautiful “she-slave” whom everyone,... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
The next day, Trefry and Caesar go on a walk, and Trefry points out Clemene’s house. Suddenly, a little... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
Trefry is happy to have reunited the couple, and while they relate their misfortunes and pledge... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
...long after, they conceive a child, which makes Caesar “more impatient of liberty.” He petitions Trefry to release him and Clemene, promising either gold or a vast quantity of slaves to... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Trefry and other colonists make daily promises to Caesar, hoping to delay his departure until the... (full context)
4. Oroonoko’s Revolt
Racism Theme Icon
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
...who wants to use violence against Caesar, though he has before pretended to befriend him. Trefry also joins the group to act as a mediator. He foresees a grim ending to... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
...tells Byam that he has no faith in the white men or their gods anymore. Trefry believes Byam to mean what he says, however, and he privately persuades Caesar to surrender... (full context)
5. Oroonoko’s Revenge
Honor  Theme Icon
...kill Byam, whatever it takes. Caesar pledges to do no harm to the women and Trefry, who had no idea of Byam’s evil plans. They try to talk him out of... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
At the same time, Trefry goes to Byam and tells him to stay away from his Lord’s servants (meaning Caesar)... (full context)
Love and Obedience Theme Icon
Freedom and Slavery Theme Icon
Honor  Theme Icon
To carry out his plan, Caesar gets Trefry to let him take a walk with Imoinda, alone. They walk to a secluded forest,... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Betrayal Theme Icon
...and leaves Parham House to stay at Colonel Martin’s. While she is away, Byam sends Trefry on a hoax errand upriver. Then a wild Irishman named Banister, who is a member... (full context)