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Quotes

Quote #10

"Ah, false Jew!" said the Grand Master; "was it not from that same witch Miriam [from whom Rebecca learned medicine], the abomination of whose enchantments have been heard of throughout every Christian land?" exclaimed the Grand Master, crossing himself. "Her body was burnt at a stake, and her ashes were scattered to the four winds; and so be it with me and mine Order, if I do not as much to her pupil, and more also! I will teach her to throw spell and incantation over the soldiers of the blessed Temple. – There, Damian, spurn this Jew [Isaac] from the gate – shoot him dead if he oppose or turn again. With his daughter [Rebecca] we will deal as the Christian law and our own high office warrant." (35.59)

We've already encountered the medieval stereotype of the worldly, fun-loving monk in Ivanhoe with Friar Tuck and Prior Aymer. Now we get the opposite stereotype: the insanely rigid and judgmental religious leader. As head of the Knights Templar, Beaumanoir's hatred of women and Jews are dangerous, and what's worse, he truly believes that his horrible prejudices are sanctified by God. He's arrogant enough to think that his judgment is sacred and that he is a straightforward representative of "Christian law." Beaumanoir is as driven by pride, conceit, and love of power as Bois-Guilbert, even if he thinks of himself as a holy man.

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