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MonkeyNotes-Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
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Chapter 12

After the combats of the first day at Ashby, the crowds eagerly await the events of the next day. The excitement reaches a fever pitch when the Disinherited Knight is attacked simultaneously by Athelstane, Front-de-Boeuf, and Bois-Guilbert. With the help of another mysterious character, the Black Knight, who comes to his aid, Ivanhoe overcomes his challengers, emerging the victor once again. After the victory, the Black Knight disappears. Rowena crowns the Disinherited Knight, who is now forced to raise his visor and show his face. He is revealed to all as Ivanhoe, Cedric's son. Severely wounded, he faints at Rowena's feet.


Notes

Once again, this is a highly descriptive chapter. Scott is at his best when talking of heraldry, armor, dress, and habits from a historical point of view. The shouting of the crowd proclaiming that death is to be preferred to defeat is characteristic of the chivalric code. Having established such an atmosphere, Scott very skillfully makes the disguised Ivanhoe the very symbol of honor of this chivalric code. Having to face four knights is a daunting experience. The hero does this honorably and defeats them. Scott shows that injustice must be fought with high moral principles, because only then can it be properly defeated.

The dramatic revelation of the true identity of the Disinherited Knight is Scott's way of creating both atmosphere and suspense. The reader is all along sure that the Disinherited Knight is Ivanhoe, but nevertheless, this scene of dramatic revelation is both rewarding.

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