Study Guide

Ivanhoe Chapter 3

By Sir Walter Scott

Chapter 3

  • This chapter opens with a passage from James Thomson's long poem "Liberty," published in 1734.
  • Clearly we are about to meet the book's hero, because Scott quotes this line from Thomson's work: "And the yellow-hair'd, the blue-eyed Saxon came."
  • Cedric's main hall at Rotherwood is a large wooden room with exposed rafters in the traditional Saxon style.
  • Cedric sits at the head of the room, at a table on a raised platform.
  • Cedric is a cheerful, strong-looking man of 60 with a quick temper.
  • He is anxious because his ward, Rowena, has come back late from church.
  • Gurth and Wamba have also not yet returned to Rotherwood.
  • Cedric is hungry and eager to start dinner.
  • Oswald, Cedric's head servant, tries to soothe him by pointing out that it's only an hour after curfew.
  • Cedric fires up: how dare the Normans give us a curfew!
  • And now they've probably murdered Gurth and Wamba!
  • Cedric hears a horn sounding outside.
  • He sends his door-wardens to check the gate.
  • One warder returns to report the arrival of Prior Aymer and Bois-Guilbert.
  • Even though Cedric hates the Normans, it's his duty as a landowner to be a good host, so he invites them in.
  • Hundebert, Cedric's chief servant, confirms to Cedric that Prior Aymer is a jolly monk, but Bois-Guilbert is something else entirely – a brave but hard-hearted man.
  • Cedric sends Rowena's serving-maid Elgitha to encourage her not to come to dinner tonight.
  • Elgitha is sure her lady will come anyway – she is desperate to hear news of the Crusades in Palestine.
  • Cedric admits that he wants to hear the news too, even though he does not want to want to.
  • There are some odd hints about a son named Wilfred who has disobeyed Cedric.
  • Cedric doesn't care what Wilfred is getting up to in Palestine – no, not at all!
  • Cedric's evening guests enter the main hall.

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