some questions on the first 10 chapters of ivanhoe, really need help :)
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Division and Reconciliation
.......From the beginning of Ivanhoe to the end, the novel centers on efforts to maintain or eliminate rancorous divisions. These divisions include the rifts separating Ivanhoe from his father, Normans from Saxons, and Christians from Jews. Ivanhoe and his father eventually reconcile, enabling Ivanhoe to marry Rowena, and the Saxons accept Norman rule under the righteous Norman king, Richard I. However, although Rebecca tries mightily to heal divisions between Christians and Jews, most of the Christians at the end of the novel refuse to regard Jews as their equals. Consequently, Rebecca and her father leave England for Spain.
Triumph of Good Over Evil
.......Ivanhoe, King Richard, Robin of Locksley, and other virtuous and upright characters in the novel prevail. Rebecca gains exoneration from the charge of witchcraft and goes free, thanks to the intervention of Ivanhoe. However, the villainous characters die, suffer physical injury or humiliation, or fail to achieve their goals.
.......After the Normans conquer England, they and their descendants–drunk with power–succumb to their baser instincts, unjustly taking Saxon lands and humiliating the Saxons with unfair treatment. Norman aristocrats even limit Saxons to inferior seats at jousting tournaments.The abuse of Ulrica at Torquilstone symbolizes the plight of the downtrodden Saxons. Meanwhile, most Normans and Saxons unjustly treat the Jews among them.
.......Normans and Saxons alike scorn Isaac the Jew and attempt to profit at his expense. Moreover, the Norman Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert attempts to exploit Isaac's beautiful daughter, Rebecca. Only Ivanhoe, Rowena, and Richard treat Isaac and Rebecca with a measure of compassion and respect. The author appears to support fair treatment of the Jews, but his descriptions of Isaac contain many negative stereotypes of Jews that render his position ambiguous. Among passages that insult Jews are the following:
"[T]he swineherd will be a fit usher to the Jew"—Chapter 5.
"Dog of an unbeliever," said an old man, whose threadbare tunic bore witness to his poverty, as his sword, and dagger, and golden chain intimated his pretensions to rank,—"whelp of a she-wolf! darest thou press upon a Christian, and a Norman gentleman of the blood of Montdidier?" (Chapter 7)
[A] stout well-set yeoman . . . advised the Jew to remember that all the wealth he had acquired by sucking the blood of his miserable victims had but swelled him like a bloated spider. . . . (Chapter 7)
"Have mercy on me, noble knight!" exclaimed Isaac; "I am old, and poor, and helpless. It were unworthy to triumph over me—It is a poor deed to crush a worm."
"Old thou mayst be," replied the knight; "more shame to their folly who have suffered thee to grow grey in usury and knavery—Feeble thou mayst be, for when had a Jew either heart or hand—But rich it is well known thou art." (Chapter 22)
Development of the English Language
When Saxons and Normans communicate, they sometimes speak a hybrid language composed of French and Anglo-Saxon. The narrator notes that this practice promoted the development of the English language, as the follow passage indicates.
At court, and in the castles of the great nobles, where the pomp and state of a court was emulated, Norman-French was the only language employed; in courts of law, the pleadings and judgments were delivered in the same tongue. In short, French was the language of honour, of chivalry, and even of justice, while the far more manly and expressive Anglo-Saxon was abandoned to the use of rustics and hinds, who knew no other. Still, however, the necessary intercourse between the lords of the soil, and those oppressed inferior beings by whom that soil was cultivated, occasioned the gradual formation of a dialect, compounded betwixt the French and the Anglo-Saxon, in which they could render themselves mutually intelligible to each other; and from this necessity arose by degrees the structure of our present English language, in which the speech of the victors and the vanquished have been so happily blended together; and which has since been so richly improved by importations from the classical languages, and from those spoken by the southern nations of Europe. (Chapter 1)