Ivanhoe Character Analysis

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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England is in turmoil, the king is imprisoned and evil has taken the thrown. Ivanhoe is a courageous knight who fights with great skill and strength throughout the tournament. He saves the lady Rebecca in a joust to the death with an evil knight, even though he is badly wounded. Ivanhoe follows the code of chivalry through his dealings with the various groups of people he meets.

Ivanhoe has proven to be heroic throughout the story. He fights valiantly through the entire tournament and wins it, so he can choose the tournament lady. Another time he was truly heroic, was when he was wounded. He borrowed the prior?s horse and went in pursuit of Brian de Bois-Guilbert, to save the Jewish woman Rebecca. When he arrives at the castle, he is so weak he can barely sit in his horse, but he again does another heroic deed. He agrees to joust to the death with Guilbert in order to save Rebecca?s life.

Ivanhoe also shows a great sense of honor. Ivanhoe tries to save his fathers honor by not revealing his identity to the crowd at the tournament. He also picks the beautiful Rowena as the tournament lady. Rowena is a Saxon like Cedric (Ivanhoe?s Father) this pleases him because Cedric has an extremely large sense of Saxon pride, which incidentally is why Ivanhoe is disinherited after following King Richard (a Norman) in the crusades. Ivanhoe also defends the honor of chivalry when Rebecca criticizes knighthood, all the way until he passes out.

Ivanhoe is one of the few people of this time who are open-minded and excepting of the Jews for whom they are. Ivanhoe entrusts his life in Rebecca?s hands while she is nursing him back to health after he is wounded in the tournament. During this time the Jews were persecuted because of not only the crusades, but also that they were perceived as ?unbelievers.? The group also turns to Issac and Rebecca when they need to pay their ransom, but they did not end up having to pay the ransom.

The evil prince has taken over the thrown, while the good king was away fighting in the crusades. Ivanhoe is a true exemplar of the code of chivalry. He does everything from defending his honor, to rescuing damsels in distress. He even jousts to the death with an evil knight to save a ?Jew? Rebecca.