Study Guide

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Courage

By C.S. Lewis

Courage

Chapter 7

At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in his inside. […] Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. (7.35)

Peter's courage is innate and only needs a little bit of prompting from the outside in order to show itself.

Chapter 8

"[I]f there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly." (8.24)

Aslan is so awe-inspiring that most creatures find him intimidating. Being brave enough to face Aslan wouldn't necessarily mean you were awesome – it might just mean that you were too foolish to understand how great he really is!

Chapter 10
Father Christmas

"And the dagger is to defend yourself at great need. For you also are not to be in the battle."

"Why, Sir," said Lucy. "I think – I don't know – but I think I could be brave enough." (10.46-47)

Lucy will one day be known as "Queen Lucy the Valiant," and we think she probably would be brave enough to fight in the battle. However, according to Father Christmas, she shouldn't fight because she's a woman. Hmm. We're more concerned about the fact that she is a young child...

Chapter 12

Peter did not feel very brave; indeed, he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do. (12.31)

Bravery isn't really about how you feel – it's about what you do in spite of your feelings.

Chapter 14

The hags made a dart at him and shrieked with triumph when they found that he made no resistance at all. Then others – evil dwarfs and apes – rushed in to help them and between them they rolled the huge Lion round on his back and tied all his four paws together, shouting and cheering as if they had done something brave, though, had the Lion chosen, one of those paws could have been the death of them all. (14.42)

One of the characteristics of the evil creatures who follow the Witch is their cowardice. They are only brave enough to approach and harm Aslan because they realize he is not going to put up any resistance.

Chapter 17
Peter Pevensie

"Madam," said King Peter, "therein I pray thee to have me excused. For never since we four were Kings and Queens in Narnia have we set our hands to any high matter, as battles, quests, feats of arms, acts of justice, and the like, and then given over; but always what we have taken in hand, the same we have achieved." (17.35)

At the end of the book, Peter, Susan, and Edmund are still willing to take on new adventures, and Susan is still the voice of conservative moderation urging them to avoid the unknown.

"It was all Edmund's doing, Aslan," Peter was saying. "We'd have been beaten if it hadn't been for him. The Witch was turning our troops into stone right and left. But nothing would stop him. He fought his way through three ogres to where she was just turning one of your leopards into a statue. And when he reached her he had the sense to bring his sword smashing down on her wand instead of trying to go for her directly and simply getting made a statue himself for his pains." (17.2)

Once redeemed, Edmund demonstrates great courage and disregard for his personal safety.

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