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by Sir Walter Scott

Ivanhoe Chapter 24 Summary

  • This epigraph is a creepy one: "I'll woo her as the lion woos his bride." This line comes from a play called <em>Douglas: A Tragedy</em> (1756) by Scottish writer John Home. The evil character Glenalvon plans to kidnap a married woman, Lady Randolph. In other words, it's a line about forcing a woman into a sexual relationship.
  • In another part of the castle, Rebecca has been locked in a tower.
  • There is an old woman in her cell, Urfried, who doesn't want to leave.
  • Urfried hates Rebecca for her youth and beauty.
  • She mocks Rebecca, telling her that the Normans won't kill her. She strongly implies that they'll rape her instead.
  • Urfried leaves Rebecca to her fate.
  • Rebecca looks around the room and sees no hope of escaping.
  • She decides to stay as strong as she can, no matter what happens.
  • A man appears at the door of her cell.
  • He's dressed like one of the outlaws of the forest, with a cap half hiding his face.
  • Rebecca offers him the ornaments she is wearing to ransom herself and her father.
  • The outlaw refuses. He is not interested in money.
  • The outlaw is none other than Brian de Bois-Guilbert. He wants Rebecca.
  • Rebecca doesn't understand how a man sworn to fight on behalf of the cross (as a Knight Templar) can treat her this way.
  • But Bois-Guilbert doesn't feel bad about breaking his vow of chastity.
  • He has gone to the Holy Land to fight for the Temple of Solomon. After that, a small sin like sex is not going to damage his righteousness, he thinks.
  • Rebecca swears to cross all of Europe and tell everyone that Bois-Guilbert raped her and broke his vows if he goes through with this.
  • Bois-Guilbert worries about this potential loss of reputation.
  • He demands that Rebecca convert to Christianity. Then he will keep her as a Norman lady.
  • Rebecca defies Bois-Guilbert: how can she convert to Christianity when <em>he </em>is her example of what it means to be Christian?
  • Rebecca runs to the window and stands ready to throw herself out.
  • Bois-Guilbert feels bad and promises not to harm her. He is moved by her beauty and pride, and apologizes.
  • Bois-Guilbert explains that heartbreak has made him this cruel.
  • When he returned from the Crusades, having won fame and glory, he found that his ladylove had married an ordinary squire.
  • Ever since, he has sworn to follow the solitary life of a Knight Templar.
  • Bois-Guilbert hears the horn blowing at the gate.
  • He asks Rebecca to think about what he has said.

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