Study Guide

Ivanhoe Chapter 43

By Sir Walter Scott

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Chapter 43

This is the second epigraph from Shakespeare's <em>Richard II</em> (see also Chapter 38).This one comes from Act I, Scene 2. The speaker, the Duchess of Gloucester, curses her enemy Thomas Mowbray. She hopes he will be thrown from his horse during a tournament.
Now our attention turns back to Templestowe.
The whole town is packed with people eager to watch the trial by combat.
Beaumanoir is sitting on a throne next to the tournament grounds.
They have set up a pile of sticks around a stake, since they expect that Rebecca will be burned by the end of the day.
The peasants gathered at the tournament grounds have heard rumors that Athelstane is still alive.
A friar, a minstrel (a wandering musician), and a priest all discuss Athelstane's fate.
They debate whether his return is supernatural, magical, or what.
The friar thinks Athelstane came back from hell.
The minstrel (Allan-a-dale, Robin Hood's man) tells his version of the story:
Athelstane appeared from the basement of Saint Edmund's in front of a drunken monk and the Sacristan (a church guard).
The friar (who is indeed Friar Tuck) protests that Athelstane smelled like hell itself.
He adds that his staff passed through Athelstane's body as though it was made of smoke.
So now we have confirmation that it <em>was</em> Friar Tuck who was there at the church when Athelstane escaped.
The men grow silent as the Templars appear for the combat.
Rebecca's guards make her sit near the stake.
Albert officially presents Bois-Guilbert to Beaumanoir as the champion for the Templars.
Beaumanoir demands if Rebecca has a champion.
She demands time to see if God will provide her with one.
While they are waiting to see if a champion appears, Bois-Guilbert approaches Rebecca.
He pretends to be counseling her to repent and confess her sins. But in fact, he is making a last-ditch effort to convince her to run away with him.
Rebecca refuses.
Albert leads Bois-Guilbert away from Rebecca.
Just when Beaumanoir is about to declare that Rebecca has forfeited her trial, a knight appears in the distance.
It's Ivanhoe (of course).
He presents himself as Rebecca's champion.
Bois-Guilbert refuses to fight Ivanhoe while he's wounded.
Ivanhoe reminds Bois-Guilbert of the oath he swore after the tournament to fight a rematch with him.
Bois-Guilbert still looks undecided.
But Beaumanoir allows Ivanhoe to stand as Rebecca's champion.
Rebecca hesitates: how can she allow Ivanhoe to fight when he's still wounded?
But Ivanhoe doesn't listen. He rides to one end of the tournament field and prepares to joust with Bois-Guilbert.
The two ride toward each other.
As they strike each other with their lances, Ivanhoe's exhausted horse collapses to the ground.
But Bois-Guilbert, whose shield is barely touched by Ivanhoe's lance, still falls out of his saddle.
Ivanhoe walks over, puts his foot on Bois-Guilbert's chest, and holds his sword to the man's throat.
Bois-Guilbert doesn't say a word.
Beaumanoir jumps in to declare the fight for Ivanhoe.
When they pull Bois-Guilbert's helmet off, he opens his eyes.
Even though he has no injury, he suddenly dies. His own conflicting emotions have overcome him.
Beaumanoir declares that this is the will of God.

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