The Excerpt that Oronooko Sacrifices Imoinda

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The Excerpt that Oronooko Sacrifices Imoinda


This is the excerpt from Aphra Behn's "Oroonoko", where he sacrifices Imoinda in the forest.


Aphra Behn


Behn, Aphra. Oroonoko. London, Penguin Books, 2003.


Penguin Books


Lara Orcaner





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“All that love could say in such cases, being ended, and all the intermitting irresolutions being adjusted, the lovely, young and ador'd victim lays her self down before the sacrificer; while he, with a hand resolved, and a heart-breaking within, gave the fatal stroke, first cutting her throat, and then severing her yet smiling face from that delicate body, pregnant as it was with the fruits of tenderest love. As soon as he had done, he laid the body decently on leaves and flowers, of which he made a bed, and conceal'd it under the same cover-lid of Nature; only her face he left yet bare to look on: But when he found she was dead, and past all retrieve, never more to bless him with her eyes, and soft language, his grief swell'd up to rage; he tore, he raved, he roar'd like some monster of the wood, calling on the lov'd name of Imoinda. A thousand times he turned the fatal knife that did the deed toward his own heart, with a resolution to go immediately after her; but dire revenge, which was now a thousand times more fierce in his soul than before, prevents him: and he would cry out, No, since I have sacrific'd Imoinda to my revenge, shall I lose that glory which I have purchased so dear, as at the price of the fairest, dearest, softest creature that ever Nature made? No, no! Then at her name grief would get the ascendant of rage, and he would lie down by her side, and water her face with showers of tears, which never were wont to fall from those eyes; and however bent he was on his intended slaughter, he had not power to stir from the sight of this dear object, now more beloved, and more ador'd than ever.”


Aphra Behn, “The Excerpt that Oronooko Sacrifices Imoinda,” Enlightenmens, accessed May 25, 2022,

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