Notes on Ivanhoe Themes

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Ivanhoe Topic Tracking: Bravery

Chapter 8

Bravery 1: Cedric is distressed that Athelstane has no interest in fighting against all these Norman nobles and Templars at the tournament. These are people who have helped to oppress his people, but the stout Athelstane does not seem to care. He doesn't think it is worthwhile to fight in these individual competitions, and chooses instead to fight in the larger team combat the next day.

The Disinherited Knight, on the other hand, fights against all the champions. He shows not only bravery in combat, but also courtesy and fairness, such as in his desire not to fight De Grantmesmil when his horse rears. Instead of taking that as an opportunity, the Disinherited Knight judges it to be an accident, which would make any further combat unfair and uneven.

Chapter 12

Bravery 2: One of the men on the Disinherited Knight's team, a large knight in black armor, is slow to fight early on in the match. The Disinherited Knight seems to be moments from losing, because his opponents have outnumbered him. Instead of fighting fairly, one-on-one, Bois-Guilbert, Athelstane, and Front-de-Boeuf all attack him together. At this sight, the Black Knight suddenly comes to life. With his help, the Disinherited Knight's team defeats Athelstane and Front-de-Boeuf.

Chapter 14

Bravery 3: Having just learned of his brother's freedom, Prince John worries that his men might desert him upon Richard's return. Instead of rousing and uniting them himself, he sends his aide Waldemar Fitzurse to mend fences. He cowers at the thought of his brother free, and feels hopeless to inspire his men. The bravery he boasted of when his brother was safely imprisoned now dissolves at word of his freedom.

Chapter 19

Bravery 4: Wamba uses a combination of bravery and trickery to escape from De Bracy's band. First he fights with much more courage and ferocity than one would expect from a jester; laterwhen he's in trouble, he flees into the bushes during the confusion.

Wamba runs into Gurth, who just renounced his service to Cedric. Upon hearing of the kidnapping, Gurth is eager to fight to save his master. Gurth decides that deserting Cedric would be a cowardly and disloyal act.

Chapter 23

Bravery 5: Rowena, captured by De Bracy, sees the irony in his actions. Knights are supposed to be brave and honorable, but De Bracy's acts are cowardly. He kidnapped her and her family, taking them by surprise. They had no one to fight against him, and no means of escape. Then, he removed Rowena from her family against her will. To Lady Rowena, these are not the chivalrous tales that will one day be told in legends or song. They are the acts of a coward.

Chapter 24

Bravery 6: Rebecca steadfastly refuses Bois-Guilbert's advances. Preferring death to dishonor, she threatens to jump off the high tower. Throughout this episode she does not cry or beg; she is merely firm and calm in her refusals and in her determination to save her honor even if through death .

Chapter 25

Bravery 7: During the assault on Front-de-Boeuf's castle, the Black Knight and the yeoman receive a letter from inside. One person, a confessor, may be allowed to enter the castle. The Black Knight asks the Clerk of Copmanhurst, who is a priest, but he refuses. He fears he would be discovered, since he knows so little Latin and virtually nothing of other priestly matters. The only one who volunteers is Wamba the Jester. This act sets him above the Clerk and Locksley's other men in terms of bravery. It is also quite an unexpected action from a jester.

Chapter 28

Bravery 8: A flashback to the events immediately following the tournament reveals that Rebecca took on the care of Ivanhoe against her father's wishes, and to the detriment of her own safety. Ivanhoe was placed on her litter, and she had to mount a horse. This made her visible to the lecherous Bois-Guilbert, but Rebecca's only concern was for her patient.

Chapter 29

Bravery 9: As the fighting intensifies outside Front-de-Boeuf's castle, Ivanhoe becomes anxious. He wishes he were out there so to satisfy him, Rebecca peers out the tower window. It is very dangerous and Ivanhoe cautions her against it, but Rebecca insists.

Chapter 31

Bravery 10: In a feat of bravery rare for Athelstane the Unready, the oafish man attacks Bois-Guilbert. He mistakes Rebecca for Rowena, and thinks he is fighting to save his future bride. Unfortunately, Bois-Guilbert delivers a mortal wound to the Saxon heir.

Chapter 34

Bravery 11: De Bracy thinks Prince John and Waldemar Fitzurse's plan to assault and capture Richard is cowardly. To engage someone in battle one-on-one is fine, but to catch someone by surprise is not. De Bracy refuses to go along with the plan, especially since the King just spared his life and freed him. Both gratitude and honor keep him from embarking on this plan.

Chapter 37

Bravery 12: Everyone in the hall is impressed with Rebecca's strength in the face of such accusations. She, a lone woman, keeps her cool during a trial amongst strangers. But the bravest action she takes is her request for a champion. Like brave knights, Rebecca throws down her glove, delicate though it is. She shows in this one action that she does know something about chivalry, despite Ivanhoe's opinion.

Chapter 39

Bravery 13: Rebecca again rebukes Bois-Guilbert's advances. She still would rather die than be with him. He respects her, and thinks they share a common belief that ideals are worth dying for. Therefore it is not surprising when she turns the Templar down again.

Chapter 40

Bravery 14: Wamba is with the Black Knight when he is attacked by a Blue Knight and his men. Again showing courage remarkable for a jester, Wamba injures the Blue Knight's horse. The Knight falls to the ground. Though Wamba is not as skilled as the Black Knight, he does not lack the courage of a knight.

Chapter 43

Bravery 15: Bois-Guilbert does not want to fight Ivanhoe, because the challenger is injured. That would not be a fair match, and Bois-Guilbert does not want that. But Ivanhoe insists, and goes into battle for Rebecca, his healer. He does this despite his injuries.

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