Free Study Guide - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott|
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FREE CHAPTER SUMMARY: IVANHOE BY SIR WALTER SCOTT
Wamba’s use of the phrase “Pax Vobiscum” is full of irony. Its offer of peace is just the contrary of what is to happen when the battle commences. To prove authenticity and gain admission to the castle as a priest about to hear confession, Wamba repeatedly utters this and other Latin phrases, which the dull Normans do not understand. Wamba instructs Cedric to use such phrases as often as possible in leaving the palace; they will aid in his disguise and help to safeguard him against violence. Wamba’s calculated behavior and his plan of changing places with Cedric demonstrate his intelligence and loyalty to the cause of bringing down John and his men.
The contrasting characters of both the Normans and the Saxons emerge clearly in these chapters. Prince John and his knights are shown to be the basest type of human beings, interested only in their own well-being and pleasure. They plan to kill the prisoners for no good reason at all. By contrast, the Saxons, aided by the good King Richard, prove their nobility and determination to make right prevail.
Cedric meets Urfried, who is revealed as Ulrica, the daughter of one
of Cedric’s good friends. Her confession to Cedric of the dishonor that
has befallen her at the hands of the elder Front-de-Bouef horrifies him
and proves the baseness of Norman behavior.
Using flashback, Scott supplies the necessary information to link various
events that have happened. Ivanhoe’s actual whereabouts since being injured
at the tournament have never been explicitly stated. But here it is revealed
that Rebecca took the invalid Ivanhoe on as a charge, promising to use
her powers of healing. It is made clear that the sick man she and her
father were accompanying when they were kidnapped is Ivanhoe.
Scott’s use of flashback is meant to supply missing links between chapters.
In the flashback, he also uses authorial intrusion a second time. The
effect is that of a stage play where an event involving one set of characters
is linked through conversation with a similar event happening to a different
set of characters. It is a bit confusing, since the reader is skipped
back in time and caught up on events that have led to the present.
As the besiegers attack the Castle, Rebecca stands at the window to
relate to Ivanhoe the exact sequence of events. He soon falls asleep.
Rebecca, left to her own thoughts, tries to sort out her feelings for
him. She realizes that she is beginning to love him.
Isaac allows his daughter to treat Ivanhoe for two reasons. He does not want Rebecca to pass on her knowledge of healing to someone else; he also thinks this kindness may be returned when Richard comes back to power. As she heals Ivanhoe, Rebecca falls in love with him; her love is sure to be frustrated since she is a Jew.
The conversation between Rebecca and Ivanhoe is significant. When Ivanhoe,
as the voice of the author himself, describes the meaning of chivalry
and honor to her, Rebecca views the knightly code only as an excuse for
rationalizing bloodshed and violence; she thinks the “nobility” of knighthood
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. 09 May 2017