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by Sir Walter Scott

Ivanhoe Chapter 13 Summary

  • Scott claims that the epigraph from this chapter comes from Homer's Iliad, but we find these lines in Book V of the Epigoniad, by a Scottish poet named William Wilkie (1721-1772). The lines describe an archery contest – so guess what this chapter is going to be about?
  • Now that Ivanhoe is back, Prince John sees trouble coming his way.
  • After Ivanhoe's departure to the Holy Land with King Richard, Prince John gave Ivanhoe's castle to his own favorite, Reginald Front-de-Boeuf. Will Front-de-Boeuf have to return his property now?
  • Prince John has also noticed Rowena's distress at Ivanhoe's unexpected return.
  • He thinks it only proper that a beautiful Saxon like her, with many rich lands to her name, should marry a Norman knight of his choosing.
  • Prince John decides that Rowena should marry his good buddy de Bracy.
  • De Bracy adds that he will happily marry anyone with lands that he likes.
  • Prince John orders that Cedric and Athelstane attend his banquet that night.
  • A messenger brings Prince John a letter written and sealed by Philip II of France. It says: "Take heed to yourself, for the Devil is unchained!" (13.20).
  • Prince John and his advisors realize that this means King Richard has been set free. He is probably on his way back to England right now!
  • The time has come for Prince John to make his uprising official.
  • But first, the Normans have to finish off the tournament so the common people won't be unhappy.
  • Prince John starts the archery contest.
  • The competitors are down to eight when Prince John spots that yeoman who insulted the Normans in Chapter 7.
  • The yeoman tells Prince John his name: Locksley.
  • Prince John challenges Locksley to participate in the archery contest. If Locksley loses, he'll be whipped. If he wins, he'll get the prize money plus an extra twenty gold pieces.
  • For now the winner of the archery tournament is Hubert, a ranger who works for Philip de Malvoisin.
  • Locksley agrees to shoot at Hubert's target if Hubert will then agree to shoot at a target of Locksley's choosing.
  • Locksley wins, of course.
  • Then Locksley cuts a willow rod and stands it at one end of the tournament field. He challenges Hubert to hit that rod.
  • Hubert is certain that he cannot.
  • Locksley splits the willow rod with his arrow, and everyone applauds his skill as an archer.
  • Prince John hands Locksley his prize money and offers Locksley a job.
  • Locksley refuses. He wants to work for King Richard.
  • Locksley also gives the twenty gold coins in prize money to Hubert and then disappears.
  • Prince John lets him go because he has other things to worry about. He sends one of his men after Isaac of York.
  • He demands two thousand crowns (a lot of money), or else he is going to cut Isaac's head off.

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