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by Sir Walter Scott

Ivanhoe Chapter 8 Summary

  • The epigraph for Chapter 8, like Chapter 7, comes from John Dryden's poem "Palamon and Arcite."
  • The tournament continues, both in Dryden's poem and in <em>Ivanhoe</em>.
  • Prince John suddenly remembers that they have yet to elect the Queen of Beauty and Love for the tournament.
  • John wants to nominate Rebecca (partly to annoy off the Saxons).
  • The Normans are anti-Semitic jerks and refuse.
  • They decide to leave the choice of the Queen to the guy who wins the tournament.
  • The first day of the tournament includes rounds of battles between individual knights to decide who is the best jouster overall.
  • The second day will involve archery contests and other competitions among the common people.
  • The tournament begins with heralds blowing horns and knights appearing in procession.
  • The narrator says there is no point in detailing who these knights are or where they come from --they're all dead now anyway.
  • The first set of five challengers appears to take on the five Norman knights (headed by Bois-Guilbert).
  • The advantage stays with Bois-Guilbert and his friends throughout the first four rounds of the tournament.
  • The public seems unhappy with these results, since Normans are not popular in this area.
  • No one is angrier than Cedric the Saxon, who desperately wants a Saxon to come along and defeat these Norman jerks.
  • Just as Cedric despairs, a knight rides up dressed in fine armor.
  • The sign on his shield is of an uprooted oak tree with the Old Spanish word <em>Desdichado</em> – Disinherited, translates Scott – written underneath.
  • (According to our Spanish-English dictionaries, <em>Desdichado </em>really means something like "unfortunate" or "unhappy," so Scott's not totally on the money here.)
  • The Disinherited Knight rides straight up to Bois-Guilbert and challenges him.
  • In the first pass, both knights shatter their lances against one another's shields.
  • In the second pass, Bois-Guilbert hits the Disinherited Knight's chest fairly.
  • But the Disinherited Knight makes an even better shot by hitting Bois-Guilbert's helmet with his lance.
  • Bois-Guilbert falls off his horse, and the Disinherited Knight wins the match.
  • Bois-Guilbert is so angry that he tries to challenge the Disinherited Knight to a sword fight.
  • The marshals (who are like medieval tournament referees) separate the two.
  • But Bois-Guilbert promises a rematch at some other time and place, and the Disinherited Knight agrees.
  • The Disinherited Knight then jousts his way through Philip de Malvoisin, Reginald Front-de-Boeuf, Hugh de Grantmesnil, and Ralph de Vipont.
  • The Disinherited Knight wins the day.

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