Ivanhoe By Sir Walter Scott Summary and Analysis Chapters 10-11

Summary

The Disinherited Knight, as custom dictates, is presented with the choice of the horses and armor or equivalent ransom from each of the five knights whom he has vanquished. He accepts ransom money from four of them but refuses to take anything from the squire of Bois-Guilbert on the grounds of the "mortal defiance" between them.

Gurth is sent to pay the eighty zecchins to Isaac for the use of horse and armor in the recent combat. Rebecca secretly restores the money, adding twenty zecchins for Gurth.

On the return trip, Gurth thinks of the time when he will have money to purchase his freedom. He is set upon by robbers, who surprisingly restore his money and give him safe conduct to the place of the lists.

Analysis

These intermediary chapters serve to show the character of Rebecca, whose wisdom overshadows her father's lamentations and avarice. Her observation that "We are like the herb which flourisheth most when it is most trampled upon" expresses a common notion of the benefits of persecution.

That they are no ordinary thieves who attack Gurth is shown by their unusual clemency. These are thieves who have become what they are in protest and among whom there is honor.

Note the allusion to necromancy and cabal, which Gurth fears, as a portent of Rebecca's fate.

Sir Walter Scott injects himself into the story (authorial intrusion) as when in Chapter 11 he says "we" must do in prose what we can to honor the quarter-staff battle between Gurth and the miller. The quarter-staff battle is part of the legend surrounding Robin Hood and his gang.

Glossary

zecchins a Venetian coin, about 9s.4d.

varlet attendant, servant

estrada a slightly raised platform

talents a unit of money, worth about 50 Hebrew shekels

arrant notoriously or pre-eminently bad

faire le moulinet to twirl about, flourish a quarter staff

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According to Ivanhoe, the only fate that a knight fears is __________.




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