Abstract

Abstract:

The final scene of Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave has long been considered one of the most challenging moments in the text: not only does it blend depictions of colonial slavery and royalist sovereignty in surprising and disturbing ways, but it also appears to resist any straightforward political signification. This essay argues that the ending scene dramatizes an erasure of civil life and breakdown of political meaning reflective of contemporary tensions between the dissolving stability of sovereign rule and simultaneous rising forces of colonialism and biopolitics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 107-133
Launched on MUSE
2019-03-06
Open Access
No
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