Questions and answers to the novel by V. Scott “Ivanhoe”

How can you explain that the name of the historical novel is dedicated to the fictional character of knight-crusader Ivanhoe?

Walter Scott is considered the ancestor of the historical novel. Historical prose presupposes not only a story about the facts of the past, but also a vivid, lively image of them. In the historical novel, fiction and historical facts are closely intertwined, real historical and fictional characters are acting. Writers rely on the historical documents studied by them, and the realities of the past arise in the work, the people’s way of life and customs are described in detail.

In his novels V. Scott shows the life of society in a certain era, historical events are recreated through the private life of man. In each narrative, alongside the real historical events, there is a story thread connected with the fate of a fictional hero.

The central character of the novel by V. Scott is not a historical person, but a fictional character. The

action of the novel “Ivanhoe” occurs in the XII century. The conflict unfolds between two warring camps: the Normans who conquered England at the end of the 12th century, and the Anglo-Saxons, who had held it for several centuries and supplanted, in turn, the tribes of the Britons. The novel is based on Scott’s traditional interweaving of love and political intrigue. Reporting historical information about the life of medieval England, the writer tells about knightly honor, love and loyalty. Against the backdrop of vivid historical events, the hero, loyal to the knightly code, acts in every situation according to duty and keeps his beloved faithful. He wins the duels of the Knights Templar, fights along with Richard the Lionheart, takes part in the crusade, defends and defends the defenseless, fights for his love. Thus, through a fictional narrative of the brave knight Ivanhoe is represented by a historical era – the life of England XII century.

What characters in the novel long enough to hide their true names? What is the reason for this – the imagination of the author or the customs

of the time described? When and why does the author reveal the names of the heroes: the Knight of the Deprived Legacy, the Black Knight, Loxley? Try to explain the aliases used in the novel.

For the success of the novel, it is important to provoke interest among readers, to intrigue them, to make them believe in secrecy and to wish to solve it. Some characters in the novel hide their true names for certain reasons. Ivanhoe, who calls himself the Knight of the Deprived Legacy, is in disgrace: he is slandered, expelled from his home and put up as a traitor before his ruler, Richard. Trying to restore his honor, he for the time being forced to hide under a conditional name. Who is hidden under this name, the reader and heroes will find out after the end of the knight tournament, when, despite the resistance of the injured Ivanhoe, a helmet is removed from his head to lay a wreath of the winner on it.

Under the name of the Black Knight lies the King of England – Richard the Lionheart. Secretly returning to England, he watches the actions of his brother – the treacherous Prince John, who seized power – in order to regain the throne and the country at the right time. His name he opens at the end of the novel after the capture of the castle of Front de Befa and the release of his captives.

“You have an English soul, Loxley,” said the Black Knight, “and you sensed that you owe me obedience, I’m Richard English!”

With these words uttered with greatness, fitting high position and noble character, Richard the Lionheart, all the yeomen knelt, reverently expressed their loyalty and asked forgiveness in their faults. “

Robin Hood, a noble robber, hiding under the name of Locksley, also calls his real name at this moment:

“Do not call me more than Locksley, Sire, and find out the name that has gained wide popularity and, perhaps, has reached even your royal ear… I’m Robin Hood from the Sherwood Forest.”

The author’s fantasy, designed to interest the reader of the novel, nevertheless rests on the customs of the depicted time, when many knights called themselves fictitious names.

How can you explain why in the historical novel, which very brightly depicts the events of the 12th century, there are also special historical references from the author?

A feature of the narrative in the novel by V. Scott is a vivid manifestation of his author’s position. The author claims that he is primarily a historian. It is based on its own historical concept, in one way or another expressing its attitude to real characters. He gives memoirs and documentary evidence, names sources, emphasizes the objectivity of the person portrayed. For example, in chapter XXIII, where the “Saxon Chronicle” is quoted, the terrible fruits of conquest are described. From the point of view of Scott, history develops according to special laws. Society passes through periods of cruelty, gradually moving towards a more moral state. These periods of cruelty are connected with the struggle of conquered peoples with their conquerors. As a result, each next stage of development, reconciling the warring, makes society more perfect.

Find ethnographic details that organically enter the plot of the work.

Ethnography reflects the features of everyday life, customs and culture of the people. The life of the English nobility of the XII century, traditions, customs and world perception of people, their mutual relations, everyday life of the common people – all this was described in detail in his novel by V. Scott.

Describe one of the heroes of the novel. Think about what the portrait of a fictional hero can differ from the portrait of a real historical person. Try to emphasize in your answer the signs of that distant era. Do not forget to say what the author’s attitude toward the hero seems to you.

The difference between a portrait of a fictional hero and a portrait of a real historical person can be illustrated by the example of the image of King Richard the Lionheart. He is most attracted by the life of a simple wandering knight, he is more precious than fame, which he conquers alone, rather than fame at the head of a huge army. Rebekah says of him: “He rushes into battle, as if on a merry feast: not one muscle force controls his blows – it seems as though he puts every soul into every blow inflicted on the enemy.” This is a terrible and majestic sight, when the hand and heart of one person hundreds of people win. “

Such features as courage, generosity and nobility were in fact peculiar, to the King of England. But, undoubtedly, the image of Richard, who in V. Scott’s novel looks like a charming, simple man and a wise warrior, who cares about the interests of his people, sincerely loving his subjects, is far from the historical truth. In historical, authentic Richard, the features of courtly upbringing were intertwined with the repulsive cruelty and greed of the feudal robber, not inferior to the greed of Front de Befa. The history of the wars and raids of Richard is full of abominable facts, which strongly contradict the attractive image created by V. Scott. The true Richard the Lionheart was not so close to the common people of England, did not drive them to attack feudal castles, did not judge so justly and wisely.

The artistic image of the themes differs from the real one, that the author draws the hero in the way he represents it. Creatively recreating the reality, the writer reflects his perception, his thoughts about it. Embellishing the historical Richard, W. Scott described it in such a way that the reader believes in the plausibility of the image.

Prepare a story about an English king, nicknamed Richard the Lionheart. Recall that the events of the novel “Ivanhoe” refer to the last years of his reign. You may need to refer to additional literature.

Future King Richard the Lionheart was born in England, in Oxford, in 1157. He received an excellent education, he spoke several languages, was a connoisseur of music and poetry, was physically very strong, masterfully possessed weapons, was an avid hunter, a man of rare / personal courage, generosity and nobility and at the same time a cruel, insidious, greedy, reckless seeker adventure, wishing to perform senseless feats and win rewards and lands. He did not pay attention to the everyday affairs of managing his possessions, was incredibly arrogant, ambitious and power-hungry. All these qualities were united in one person.

In 1169, King Henry II of England made a division of possessions between his sons, according to which Richard received Aquitaine, Poitou and Auvergne.

Subsequently, much effort was given by Richard to organize a crusade for the liberation of Jerusalem, captured by the troops of the Egyptian ruler Saladin. Richard spent all his treasury on the equipment. “I would sell London if there was a buyer,” he said. While the king was waging a war with Saladin with varying success, the struggle for power began in England, and Richard was forced to sail home, having achieved only minor agreements, leaving his memory in the Arab lands for a long time. On the way home, Richard was captured and imprisoned in a castle on the banks of the Danube, but was later released and even managed to regain power in England.

Soon Richard began preparations for war with France, and in 1194 he left England. At the siege of the Castle of Shal, the king was wounded and died of gangrene that began.

Historians have been arguing for a long time about the personality of Richard the Lionheart. Some believe that Richard rushed around the world, forgetting his country and ruining her city. Others emphasize that Richard was the true son of his age – the age of chivalry, and his actions were fully consistent with the knightly ideal. Richard in Europe and Asia was looking for military glory and immortal exploits and remained in the memory of generations as a great hero and an unsuccessful politician.

Among the scenes of the novel is the meeting of the hermit Took and the Black Knight, which, according to V. Scott in the foreword to the novel, reproduces the events of folk ballads about the meeting of the king with the merry monk-hermit. How do you explain the author’s attention to this episode?

V. Scott notes in the preface that the general outline of this history is found at all times and among all peoples. This story tells about the journey of a disguised monarch who, out of curiosity or for entertainment, appears in the lower strata of society and finds himself in various amusing situations. Such subjects are extremely curious from the point of view of the description of the customs of the time. The contest of the merry monk-hermit depicting himself as an ascetic and modest servant of the church, and hiding his name of the king, which brings out the roguish master, is portrayed by the writer and reveals the characters of the main characters.

What kind of feminine character are you interested in? Try to create a portrait of one of the heroines of the novel.

The beautiful lady of Rowena is a typical romantic heroine, for whose sake a brave knight performs his exploits.

Beauty Rebekah – an image more complex, vivid and interesting. The girl is active: she heals wounds, heals the sick. She is very intelligent and courageous: in a moment of the greatest danger, the knight of the Temple of Boisguilbert argues about the role of fate: “People often blame the consequences of their own violent passions.” In a conversation with Ivanhoe, she calls knightly deeds a sacrifice to the demon vanity. Rebekah has a sense of dignity, she has her own ideas about honor – she even rebukes Boisguilbert for what he is willing to change for his sake. The heroine causes respect, admiration and sympathy. She is not destined to become happy, but destined to find peace of mind.

What stage of the novel is the most important for you to develop the action?

It is often claimed that this is God’s judgment, although there are readers for whom the culmination is the battle for the castle de Befa.

How many plot lines do you see in the novel? Who are their heroes?

In the novel, several story lines:

1) the story of the life and love of the brave knight Ivanhoe and the beautiful Lady Rowena. The heroes of this line are also Cedric – Rovena’s father, a relative of Athelstan, Gurt and Wamba; 2) the history of the relationship between Rebekah and Boisguilbert. In addition to them, the heroes of this line are Rebekah’s father Isaac, Ivanhoe; 3) events related to the Black Knight – Richard the Lionheart.

Name the most important moments of the storyline, which tells of the knight Ivanhoe and Lady Rowena.

In this storyline, you should highlight the knightly tournament, the capture of prisoners, the siege of the castle, the meeting of Rebekah and the Lady of Rowena.

Which scenes of the story of the knight Brian de Boisguillebert and Rebecca can be considered climax?

Highlights include the scenes on the castle wall, the trial of Rebekah, a tournament in which Ivanhoe defended the honor of Rebekah.

How do you imagine the nature of England XII century?

The novel depicts dense impenetrable forests, in which people hide Robin Hood, and the endless valleys surrounding the castles of the English nobility.

Is there an epilogue in the novel that completes the storylines?

The last pages of the novel are an epilogue and narrate about what happened to the characters in the future.

What evidence that you have a historical novel before you, you could imagine?

The account of England of the XII century is based on reliable events: the struggle of the Normans who seized power, with the Anglo-Saxons, the return of King Richard, the activities of the Order of the Knights of the Temple, the Order of the Knights Templar, and the feudal struggle. The strife leads to the fact that England is constantly threatened with internecine strife, which destroys the life of the country, a heavy burden that lays on the people.

Especially sharply wrote V. Scott about the Norman feudal lords. The novel shows the era of the reorganization of England, turning from a country scattered and feudal between feudal possessions in a monolithic kingdom. Typical among other knights, robbers, robbing the English people, and the Crusader Boisguillebert, in his image reflected the features of the activity of the Knights Templar. The feudal church is represented by the abbot Eymer. Truly portrayed Norman nobility. The people’s struggle against feudal tyranny, led by the legendary Robin Hood, also found its place in the narrative.

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Questions and answers to the novel by V. Scott “Ivanhoe”