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Analysis

Literary Devices in Ivanhoe

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Yorkshire, Rotherwood Hall, Ashby-de-la-Zouche Castle, Torquilstone, TemplestoweScott uses both real and made-up places to create the world of Ivanhoe. The general setting of South Yorkshire is rea...

Narrator Point of View

Ivanhoe is definitely narrated in the third person, since there is no "I" speaking directly to the reader. The narration is omniscient, or all-knowing: the narrator is aware of everything, from the...

Genre

Ivanhoe is clearly an adventure. With its jousting, witchcraft trials, and daring rescues, how much more excitement can one book contain? There is also plenty of family drama: Cedric can't forgive...

Tone

Ivanhoe's tone is pretty unusual. Even though there's a lot of realistic description of appearance and clothing to help the reader imagine the looks and manners of these medieval characters, every...

Writing Style

You don't need us to tell you that Scott's style is deeply wordy. This is partly a matter of literary custom: if you look at a bookshelf of 19th century novels like Ivanhoe, you'll see that most of...

What's Up With the Title?

When you read the name "Ivanhoe," does it sound romantic and Old-English-y to you? We hope so, since that's what author Sir Walter Scott intended. In his 1830 introduction to a new edition of Ivanh...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

Scott attaches two lines of poetry to the beginning of Ivanhoe. The only thing he tells us about these lines is that they are written by "Prior." While there are lots of priors in Ivanhoe (a prior...

What's Up With the Ending?

In the final chapter of Ivanhoe, Scott wraps up the two major plot lines of the novel: the love triangle between Rowena, Rebecca, and Ivanhoe, and the political adventures of King Richard I. This i...

Tough-o-Meter

First and foremost, Ivanhoe is entertainment – it's not supposed to be a brainteaser. It's the 19th century equivalent of beach reading. Think The Help or The Hunger Games and you'll be at about...

Plot Analysis

Nothing is right with the world (or at least, with England).At the start of Ivanhoe, pretty much everything sucks. Cedric has disinherited his son Ivanhoe for going off on the Crusades without Cedr...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Anticipation Stage and 'Call'There are two related "monsters" that the characters in Ivanhoe have to defeat: family resentment and Norman-on-Saxon violence. The first couple chapters outline what o...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Ivanhoe starts with a huge power imbalance. As the recent conquerors of England, the Normans have all the power, and they lord it over the Saxons as much as they can. Saxon Cedric of Rotherwood is...

Trivia

Sir Walter Scott didn’t come out publicly as the author of his enormously successful novels until 1827. What finally drove him out into the open was not excitement or pride but, sadly, financial...

Steaminess Rating

Ivanhoe is a family novel written in 1819, so you've come to the wrong place if you want to see people take their clothes off. There is some mention of sexual content (Bois-Guilbert's efforts to se...

Allusions

"Mr. Oldbuck of Monkbarns," see The Antiquary (1817) by Sir Walter Scott (Epistle.1, Epistle.7)"a second M'pherson," see James McPherson, "The Poems of Ossian," 1773 (Epistle.1)Lucan, Roman writer...
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