Free Study Guide - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott|
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FREE ONLINE STUDY GUIDE: IVANHOE BY SIR WALTER SCOTT
Ivanhoe’s antagonist is the group of people that oppose him, including his own father, Cedric and the wicked Norman lords, especially Brian de Bois-Guilbert. Ivanhoe must nobly fight against the Norman Knights in order to help King Richard regain his power and to prove his own bravery and nobility. Ivanhoe must convince his father that he is worthy of respect and winning the hand of Rowena in marriage.
Richard’s antagonist in the sub-plot is his brother John, who has usurped his power and rules with injustice. He is everything wicked and evil, the embodiment of division and conquest. He encourages the total appropriation of Saxon land and goods, fanning the already strong hatred and dislike between the two groups. He conspires to keep his fair and popular brother from returning to power. Richard must displace him to regain his rightful place as King of England.
Both sets of antagonists embody the conflict between conqueror and conquered,
the political divisions among family, and the brutal and gritty nature
of power politics. The struggle is between ruler and ruled, fairness and
injustice. In the end, both the plot and the sub-plot seem to be a battle
of good versus evil.
The moment of climax occurs when Ivanhoe defeats the forces of evil in his fight to save Rebecca from being burned at the stake. He fights nobly, killing the wicked Bois-Guilbert and saving Rebecca. He also reconciles with his father and marries Rowena. At the end of the novel, he is a happy and honored hero.
The moment of climax in the sub-plot is at the battle of Torquilstone,
when Prince John and the evil knights are defeated. As a result, Richard
is able to regain the throne. Simultaneously, Cedric moderates his extreme
beliefs and accepts the changing face of his country, giving up hope for
a Saxon king and pledging loyalty to Richard. In short, the two sides
of an extremely volatile conflict learn to moderate their beliefs and
exist in a little more stable world. All of the good and noble characters,
especially Richard, come out to be winners.
The novel ends as a comedy with lots of happiness to spread around. Ivanhoe
defeats Bois-Guilbert and saves Rebecca, proving that nobility is better
than wickedness. He also reconciles with his father and marries Rowena,
who loves him dearly. King Richard is restored to the throne, bringing
an era of peace to England. Cedric has accepted that the Saxons are not
ready to again rule and is finally at peace with the rulers of his country.
Even Prince John is spared by his kind brother, who scolds him and sends
him home to his mother. In true romantic fashion, the good characters
emerge victorious, while the defeated bad characters enjoy some mercy
at the hands of the victors.
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. 09 May 2017