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Free Study Guide - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

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FREE BOOK SUMMARY NOTES: IVANHOE BY SIR WALTER SCOTT

CHAPTERS 18 - 19

Summary

When Cedric first sees his son wounded, his natural paternal love is revived, but not wishing to reveal this to the spectators at Ashby, he keeps quiet. Later he learns that Ivanhoe is being taken care of by Rebecca and is relieved. Discovering that his swineherd Gurth has been helping Ivanhoe, Cedric has him bound with rope as a punishment.

Cedric and Athelstane take their group to Prince John’s palace where they have been invited to a banquet. On the way to Prince John’s, the group encounters the dog, Fangs, howling. Cedric throws his javelin at it, wounding the dog. Saxons are a superstitious lot, and Cedric believed this howling was a sure sign of an impending danger. Gurth is upset to see the dog wounded and manages to escape his bonds.

At Prince John’s, Rowena refuses to attend the banquet, which annoys Cedric. He and Athelstane discuss matters of land. Then Cedric broaches the subject of Athelstane’s marriage to Rowena.

Notes


These are emotional chapters in which Cedric is shown to be very frustrated. He is concerned that his son has been wounded, but is too proud to reveal his feelings to the disinherited young man. He is relieved, however, to learn that Ivanhoe is being cared for. He is also angry that his own servant, Gurth, has been helping Ivanhoe and has him punished. On the way to Price John’s, he displays his frustration when he hurls his javelin at a howling dog. His frustration is intensified when Rowena, a strong willed young woman, refuses to attend the banquet.

Cedric’s greatest desire is still to place a Saxon on the English throne, but he begins to question his choice of Athelstane. He realizes that Athelstane, accurately nicknamed “the Unready”, is lazy, indecisive, and only interested in an easy life. When Cedric suggests that Athelstane marry Rowena, the apathetic man makes no response, which further frustrates Cedric.


CHAPTERS 20 - 21

Summary

As they make their way through the woods, Cedric and his party come upon Isaac and Rebecca accompanying a sick man. Rebecca is crying out loudly for help. Their bodyguard has deserted them in sheer fear of the outlaws who are known to inhabit the woods. Rebecca begs Rowena to help the sick man. The entire party is then attacked by De Bracy and his men, impersonating outlaws. They kidnap the group and take them to Front-de-Bouef at Torquilstone Castle, which once belonged to Ivanhoe until John gave it away. Except for Wamba, who escapes, they are all taken prisoners.

Wamba meets Gurth, and they go to find Locksley (Robin Hood). Gurth, Wamba, Locksley, and his men meet up with the disguised King Richard and Friar Tuck. All of them proceed to Torquilstone Castle to aid the prisoners.

Notes

These chapters bring together all of the major characters and conflicts of the novel in dramatic and humorous ways. Cedric’s party encounters Isaac and Rebecca, who are transporting a sick man; Cedric does not realize it is Ivanhoe. As Rebecca begs for help, the entire party is attacked and taken prisoner by De Bracy and his men. Wamba, a servant, manages to escape and go for help. He finds Gurth, and together they enlist the help of Locksley and his band of men. This motley crew joins together with King Richard and Friar Tuck in an extremely comical scene of comradeship. Locksley and Friar Tuck are motivated by a desire to help the prisoners and to put an end to the Normans masquerading as outlaws.

The Norman “bad guys” also come together in these chapters. De Bracy’s purpose in capturing Cedric’s party is to persuade Rowena to marry him. He takes her to Torquilstone Castle, which John has stolen from Ivanhoe and given to Front-de-Bouef. In the castle, De Bracy is so aware of the lack of honor among the Norman knights that he feels threatened by Bois-Guilbert, the Knight Templar, and is afraid of him being anywhere near Rowena. The Knight Templar claims that his vow of chastity is enough to keep him from Rowena, but de Bracy is smart enough to know that the Knight Templar’s vows mean nothing at all.

 

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