Study Guide

Ivanhoe Chapter 17

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Chapter 17

  • The epigraph to this chapter is from Part IV of Thomas Warton's "Inscription in a Hermitage." The poem describes the pleasures of being a hermit and living far from society.
  • The Friar wants to hear a song from the Black Knight.
  • He wants a real English song – none of this new French stuff.
  • The Black Knight launches into a song called "The Crusader's Return," about a knight fighting in the Crusades and dreaming of his ladylove.
  • All of the knight's victories in the song are thanks to his love.
  • (By the way, the word "Paynim" in the ballad is an offensive word for a non-Christian, particularly used to refer to Muslims during the Crusades.)
  • The Friar applauds, though he thinks the song is a bit gloomy.
  • Then the Friar sings his own song: "The Barefooted Friar."
  • It is a funny song about what a good, lazy life a churchman can have.
  • The Black Knight applauds happily, but then he teases the Friar about the unholy life he leads.
  • The Friar shouts that he's not afraid of the devil in any case.
  • He names a whole bunch of saints to protect him, all English saints from the days before the Norman invasion of Britain.
  • The Friar and the Black Knight continue to make merry until a loud knocking at the door interrupts them.

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