2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Oroonoko, Herakles, and the Meaning of Myth
John P. McDonough
Dr. Bob Mielke, Faculty Mentor

Oroonoko, Aphra Behn's famous short novel, is widely known for its importance as one of the first anti-slavery narratives. Claimed by the author as the true story of a noble African prince tricked into a life of slavery, a closer examination of the text and its influences provokes skepticism as to the authenticity of her tale. By comparing the text to the Greek myths of Herakles, the reader discovers a wealth of parallels between the two. Along with an exploration of the meaning of "myth," this essay probes the connections between Behn's work and classical works of mythology. An analysis of Behn's inspiration and influences, this piece reveals associations that beg to raise the question of reclassification for her revolutionary text.

Keywords: Oroonoko, Herakles, Myth, Behn


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 43-1
Location: OP 2117
Time: 1:15 pm

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