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by Sir Walter Scott

Ivanhoe Chapter 29 Summary

  • We start out with a quote from Frederick Schiller's tragic play <em>Maid of Orleans</em>, based on the life of Joan of Arc. The speaker asks a soldier to climb the nearby watchtower to report on the battle.
  • Rebecca is really enjoying this time with Ivanhoe.
  • But she is always aware that he thinks of her coldly, as a Jewish woman.
  • Ivanhoe asks how he has come to be prisoner in the castle of Front-de-Boeuf.
  • Rebecca explains that the castle is under siege from outlaws, and that there is a Christian priest who might know more.
  • Ivanhoe asks Rebecca to bring the friar to him.
  • Rebecca goes and comes back, explaining her lack of success.
  • They hear the noise of battle inside the castle.
  • Ivanhoe is freaking out about not being able to join in.
  • To calm Ivanhoe down, Rebecca offers to describe to him what she sees through the windows.
  • Ivanhoe worries that Rebecca will be injured by a stray arrow, but she insists.
  • Rebecca sees archers at the edge of the woods.
  • The Saxons approaching the castle are carrying no banners or marks of their identity.
  • But Rebecca can see their leader, a knight all in black.
  • She sees the outlaws putting up heavy shields and preparing their battering rams.
  • The Normans and Saxons start shooting arrows at each other.
  • The Black Knight leads a charge against the outer wall of Torquilstone.
  • They break through the outer wall and start fighting the castle's defenders hand to hand.
  • Front-de-Boeuf and the Black Knight are in single combat.
  • The Black Knight brings down Front-de-Boeuf.
  • Bois-Guilbert runs to rescue Front-de-Boeuf.
  • Bois-Guilbert and his men pull Front-de-Boeuf inside the castle.
  • The outlaws have taken the outer battlements.
  • The Black Knight is fighting his way through the second gate across the castle's moat.
  • Ivanhoe is excited to hear all this news.
  • But Rebecca is horrified by the violence that men do to one another.
  • Ivanhoe wants to hear more: is there really no sign of who the Black Knight is?
  • Rebecca describes his shield: black with a blue "fetterlock" a handcuff used to restrain prisoners and/or horses). Otherwise, he is all in black.
  • The shield is meaningless to Ivanhoe.
  • Still, Ivanhoe is impressed by the Black Knight's heroism.
  • Ivanhoe and Rebecca start a serious debate.
  • Ivanhoe believes that glory is the most important thing a man can achieve, regardless of the cost.
  • Rebecca thinks that the "great deeds" done in battle are really just a waste of life and happiness.
  • Rebecca is angry that Ivanhoe thinks she is a coward just because she does not celebrate violence.
  • Ivanhoe has fallen asleep.
  • Rebecca is doing her best not to love him, since she knows it would be a bad idea.

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