Summary and Analysis Chapter 12



The excitement on the second day of the tournament reaches a climax as the Disinherited Knight is assaulted at the same time by Athelstane, Front-de-Boeuf, and Brian de Bois-Guilbert. With the aid of the Black Sluggard he succeeds in overthrowing Athelstane and Front-de-Boeuf. The Templar's horse goes down under the charge of the Disinherited Knight and "Desdichado" becomes the victor for the second time. The Black Sluggard retires when the odds are evened, and he disappears when the Disinherited Knight is victorious.

When Rowena crowns the victor, his head is bared and his identity as Ivanhoe is revealed. His wound is so severe, however, that he faints at Rowena's feet.


This chapter appeals primarily to the senses of sight and sound. The sense of action is conveyed as the sights and sounds of battle would assail the spectator rather than as the participant would feel and react.

The chant of the crowd "Death is better than defeat!" is characteristic of the code of chivalry. The courage to dare, even in the face of overwhelming odds, was the only courage worth having. Other cries of the heralds exemplify the medieval code of honor.

Disguise, however thin, was a device Scott used over and over to create suspense and add drama to the narrative. Even though the reader isn't fooled for long, the dramatic climax of revelation is good entertainment.

There is irony as Scott describes the tournament (its fatalities and injuries), then gives its name — "The Gentle and Joyous Passage of Arms of Ashby."


Laissez aller! Let go! Away!

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