Aphra Behn Essays

  • Oroonoko by Aphra Behn

    1427 Words  | 3 Pages

    Originally published in 1688, Aphra Behn’s groundbreaking novel Oronooko remains a rich artifact for decoding the context and era in which it was written in. When Oroonoko had first been published, the basic concept of the novel as a writing technique was still in early experimental stages. Aphra Behn, though, through countless stylistic techniques and interwoven patterns, seamlessly wrote one of the earliest and most important novels of all time. This essay will elaborate upon such stylistic traits

  • Gender and Narrative in the Fiction of Aphra Behn

    2859 Words  | 6 Pages

    ideology brought with it not only the reemergence of the theatre, but and a society that embraced freedom of sexuality and thought in a way that was unprecedented. It is this new libertine society that provided a context for the writings of Aphra Behn. While Behn observed men like rakish Charles II and the effeminate Earl of Rochester enjoying England’s newfound open mindedness, she was forced to navigate, or rather circumnavigate, the limitations that remained in place for women. In a time when actresses

  • The Life and Works of Dramatist Aphra Behn

    2577 Words  | 6 Pages

    The Life and Works of Dramatist Aphra Behn Aphra Behn left a legacy of being not only a complex and enigmatic woman, but a poet, a playwright, a writer, a novelist, and a spy. A commoner who blended with the royalty and revolted against the societal norms with her lewd yet cunning writings, she exhibited the influence of more than just a writer of her time period and left her mark in the canon of English literature by creating her own genre of amatory. She was a feminist, an adventurist, an abolitionist

  • The Actual Disappointment: The Work fo Aphra Behn

    1112 Words  | 3 Pages

    Aphra Behn, a remarkable author who “‘…earned… [women]…the right to speak their minds’”, who was not afraid to speak her mind herself as evident in her works, and was a writer that aided in paving the way for women’s rights through the literature world (The Norton Anthology 2308). A majority of Behn’s works serve to further the voice of women in the oppressed society in which they were living in and this work being examined is no exception to this. The Disappointment serves as a perfect satiric

  • Virtue in Oroonoko (The Royal Slave) by Aphra Behn

    575 Words  | 2 Pages

    The story, Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave, written by Aphra Behn, depicts the main character, Oroonoko, as being an African prince that lives among his people, whom all abide by a code of virtue and fidelity. When Oroonoko is faced with a dilemma in his own country and living among a “civilized” white society, that are devout Christians, he is confronted with the burden to uphold his code of virtue and maintain a title of being a “Noble Savage” by means of loyalty, religious beliefs, and honor. Oroonoko

  • Aphra Behn and the Changing Perspectives on Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel

    6046 Words  | 13 Pages

    Aphra Behn and the Changing Perspectives on Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel (1957) remains one of the most influential texts in the study of the English novel. However, an increasingly strong case for a revision of both the work itself and the discourse it personifies has been gradually building over the past twenty years. While the initial stages of, first, feminist and, later, post colonial perspectives may have sought only to insert marginalised texts into

  • Aphra Behn

    916 Words  | 2 Pages

    century a writer named Aphra Behn emerged as leader in English literature. With a shaky beginning, Behn persevered to become the first female professional writer. With her feminist opinions, she revolutionized writing and her impacts in the 17th century would change modern day writing. Behn was a clever writer who wrote lively, vibrant plays and poetry. Behn impacted the world, not only with her writing, but also with her determination and voice about her feminist opinions. Behn showed strength and

  • Aphra Behn

    1497 Words  | 3 Pages

    Aphra Behn, who is the first female to achieve status of a professional playwright attempted to alter and influence the literary cannon through her writing, which was a precarious occupation but allowed literature to evolve in a wider range. Behn was also one of the wittiest and entertaining as evidenced through her most renowned play, The Rover, which is a restoration, yet dark comedy set in 17th century Italy while under the colonial reign of Spain. The large cast of characters becomes embroiled

  • The Rover by Aphra Behn

    1188 Words  | 3 Pages

    In The Rover by Aphra Behn the reader is shown how all a woman could do during the 1600’s in Europe was sell herself through marriage or prostitution through the characters Hellena and Angellica. Both women have different views on love, sex, and marriage. Hellena is a woman who does not want to be controlled by men. It has been determined by her father and brother that she will join a nunnery, which she rejects. Hellena doesn’t want her desires to be controlled and feels she has the right to love

  • Oroonoko, by Aphra Behn

    1322 Words  | 3 Pages

    Aphra Behn’s novel, Oroonoko, gives a very different perspective on a slave narrative. Her characters embody various characteristics not usually given to those genders and races. Imoinda’s character represents both the modern feminist, as well as the subservient and mental characteristics of the typical eighteenth-century English woman. Oroonoko becomes an embodiment of what is normally a white man’s characteristic; he is the noble, princely, and sympathetic character that is not usually attributed

  • The Willing Mistress, by Aphra Behn

    754 Words  | 2 Pages

    Aphra Behn shattered walls for sexual freedom of women in literature in the seventeenth century. She was called the first professional woman writer in English. Many of her works all have strong female roles holding sexual power. In Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, she states, “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” She

  • Oroonoko, by Aphra Behn

    1361 Words  | 3 Pages

    Oroonoko is short literary novel, written in 1688 by Aphra Behn, which details the love story of two enslaved Surinam nobilities, who both meet their atrocious ends. Through her explicit analytical language she lets the English colonists know that the enslaved masses had a refined culture and ideological force that was incapable of being disregarded. Aphra Behn was innovative in her plight as being one of the foremost political female novelists of her time. Throughout her narrative she argues "centres

  • Defining identity in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave: A True History

    1611 Words  | 4 Pages

    Throughout Oronooko, particularly in this passage, Aphra Behn focuses on identity in both specific characters, such as Oroonoko and Imoinda, and collective terms, such as “Whites” and “Negroes.” In this way, she examines the various aspects of identity, particularly the personal and cultural. Additionally, she underscores the distinctions between man and beast in relation to human identity by exploring their respective definitions. Finally, Behn posits identity as a malleable concept, which changes

  • A Patriarchic Society in Aphra Behn's The Rover

    1108 Words  | 3 Pages

    Society in Aphra Behn's The Rover In her play The Rover, Aphra Behn uses the treatment of women to suggest the presence of a strong patriarchic society and what harm can become of it. The main female character Florinda is manipulated, used, and treated horribly by men in instances of near-rape, battering and beating, and foul language among other things. Behn also uses Willmore, one of the main male characters, and his attitude towards women to prove her point. By doing this, Behn is suggesting

  • Oroonoko Sparknotes

    1460 Words  | 3 Pages

    In Oroonoko, Aphra Behn narrates the tale of an African prince who along with his wife were captured and taken to Suriname. The two were later sold as slaves within the British colony (Behn, 20070. Oroonoko has a relatively well educated compare to other slaves and also hails from a superior social background. While in captivity, Oroonoko foments a revolution against his enslavers. However, the revolt is unsuccessful, and Oroonoko is executed. In The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

  • Oroonoko’s Honorable Downfall

    759 Words  | 2 Pages

    Before even opening the book, the reader is hit with the paradox of the title, Oroonoko or the Royal Slave. This is already problematic since royalty are highly privileged people who do not end up in dire straits—much less slavery. Aphra Behn presents many paradoxes in her text Oroonoko or the Royal Slave. One of the many paradoxes she utilizes is the one that applies to her hero, Oroonoko; he is an honorable hero, who is also a naïve fool. Oroonoko was born into royalty and led a career as a

  • The Rover Analysis

    2475 Words  | 5 Pages

    In Aphra Behn's “The Rover,” characters define relationships as a type of economy where value and use are key. This time period commodified love and sexuality, valuing financial success over meaningful relationships. The dowry system made rich women with a high status most desirable for marriage and their value was increased by their honor. Typical of seventeenth century literature, Behn plays with this ideology as “the language of love in Restoration comedies frequently draws on the language of

  • Sexuality And Power In Aphra Behn's The Disappointment

    745 Words  | 2 Pages

    sexual encounters but it was considered scandalous and wrong if a woman was to do the same. In Aphra Behn’s The Disappointment, she challenges all of that by using romance and sexuality to modify the differing views of power in relation to gender roles. At the end of the first stanza Behn says, “And left no light to guide the world, But what from Cloris ' brighter eyes was hurled” (Stanza 1, Line 9-10), what Behn is illustrating is that even though it seems that Lysander has all the control because he

  • The Narrative Style of Aphra Behn's Oroonoko

    701 Words  | 2 Pages

    Oroonoko is an intriguing and epic story of a young African prince who gets tricked into becoming a slave for a workers plantation written by the first professional woman author, Aphra Behn. As the story is told by the narrator (who the reader will presume to be the author Aphra Behn) the reader gets a sense of a first hand perspective from the narrator. This allows the reader to only get a perspective from the narrator's point of view. As the story is told to the reader, the narrator seems to favour

  • Similarities Between Oroonoko And Jesus

    740 Words  | 2 Pages

    and even referred to him as “King” (Behn). When Orronoko visited the slave houses they cried out “Live, O King! Long live, O King!” (Behn) while they kissed his feet, much like when the women kissed Jesus’ feet showing her love and adoration for him as well as respect and subordination (Luke 7:37-39). Another similarity I found occurred during his death was when Oroonoko blessed the men who bound him and prepared him for death saying “A blessing on thee” (Behn). This reminded me of how Jesus when