A deputy governor in Suriname, Byam is not afraid to use low and dishonorable tactics to keep things running smoothly on the sugar plantations. He is not well regarded amongst the colonists, who all love Caesar (Oroonoko) more and dislike the governor’s manipulation of him. Byam initially pretends to be a great friend to Caesar, and promises him that he will one day be free, along with his wife and child, but in actuality Byam never intends to liberate them. He even lies to Caesar during the standoff in the forest, promising Caesar his freedom, but later breaks the contract they sign. Before this betrayal, however, Imoinda wounds Byam in the shoulder with a poisoned arrow.
The Oroonoko quotes below are all either spoken by Governor Byam or refer to Governor Byam. 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:).
4. Oroonoko’s Revolt Quotes
The timeline below shows where the character Governor Byam appears in Oroonoko. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
4. Oroonoko’s Revolt
...if they are content to suffer “the lash,” and they reply “no” in unison. Then Tuscan, the tallest and most elegant-looking slave of the crowd, interrupts Caesar’s speech. Bowing at Caesar’s... (full context)
...the journey. Men can take turns carrying tired children, and they can collectively gather food. Tuscan then asks what they should do. Caesar replies that they will travel towards the sea... (full context)
...plantation. Upon reaching the place where slaves are whipped, however, the Parhamites grab Caesar and Tuscan, who are both surprised and exhausted. The colonists bind the men tightly and proceed to... (full context)
5. Oroonoko’s Revenge
...They think that some accident has befallen the pair. A search party heads out, including Tuscan, who is now perfectly reconciled with Byam. They don’t travel far when the powerful stench... (full context)