Ivanhoe - Strenghth, Honor , and Chivalry

Topics: Middle Ages, Walter Scott, Knights Templar Pages: 5 (1620 words) Published: October 8, 1999
In everybody's life there is something that makes him strive for success. That something can be money, women, fame, or many other incentives.. To the medieval knights, victory renown and glory are the ambitions they strive for. Breaking a law in this code would be considered a disgrace, and would bring a dishonor that was worse than death itself. However, by applying the Code of Chivalry, the knights in the medieval time displayed certain character traits which would secure success and honor in both battle and morality. In the book Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott, a knight named Ivanhoe illustrates this by devoting his attention to keeping the rules of the Code of Chivalry, which consisted of love of adventure, integrity, and loyalty to the king, to name a few. These character traits of Ivanhoe coupled with strong characters and a realistic setting allow the reader to understand the importance of a strong set of moral guidelines to all individuals of all time periods in spite of Scott's excessive detail and confusing subplot.

Respect and loyalty are two of the character traits that Ivanhoe not only possesses but also helps the reader to see their importance for a successful life. For example, in the beginning of the book Ivanhoe is known as the Disinherited Knight because his father, Cedric of Saxon, disinherits him; however, even though he is abandoned, he still respects his father and is loyal to him. His respect is shown in the book when the castle burns and someone asks his father whether defeat is visible. Cedric responds by saying, "Not so, by the soul of Hereward." He then denounces Ivanhoe's beliefs. Instead of getting angry at Cedric, Ivanhoe shows respect, and brushes the comments off, and leads a successful life as a result. This is a very good example to today's reader that comes from generations of children having relationship problems with their parents.

Ivanhoe is not only loyal to his real father but to King Richard the Lion Heart as well. When Ivanhoe is disowned by his father, King Richard steps in and adopts him. Ivanhoe attaches himself to the King and follows him into battle for the Crusades. When the King is captured, Ivanhoe has loyalty and sets his eye on freeing him.

Ivanhoe is not the only character that demonstrates loyalty. The reader can also learn a thing or two about having too much loyalty and pride in family. Cedric the Saxon shows extreme pride and loyalty to his heritage. In fact, it is because of this that Ivanhoe is kicked out of the home. He has more interest in re-establishing Saxon rule than in running his household. He is so proud of the Saxons that he hates the Normans with all his heart. Everything he does reflects his bias towards the Saxons. Cedric's pride is far too extreme; the reader can learn to not let his or her pride in heritage take control.

In addition to loyalty towards heritage, the novel contains loyalty towards religion. The problem with this is that the society has loyalty to only religion and but God. These characters actually insult true Catholics (their religion) by the way they practice their religion. It seems like Scott is trying to obuse the Catholic Church by portraying its members as people that are not concerned with God but rather, people that are only loyal to the religion itself. Christians can learn an important lesson from this society. We as believers should never just focus on the religious practices of the church. Instead, our main attention should be directed towards God alone because he is the reason for our religion.

Glory is also something that Ivanhoe uses to lead him on. His step-father, King Richard the Lion Heart, was imprisoned by Austrians on his way back from the crusades. Ivanhoe put his effort towards freeing him and glorifying his country of England. He courageously goes to battle to fight for England in the Crusades. Because of his bravery England is saved.

Glory and Bravery...
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