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MonkeyNotes-Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
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Chapter 11

On his way back to Ashby, poor Gurth is attacked by four men who steal the money he carries, both his gold coins and that belonging to Ivanhoe. The thieves question him about where he got the money. When Gurth tells about Rebecca's kindness, the thieves refuse to believe that any Jew would return a payment on a loan. Gurth fights with his attackers. When he shows his courage in the conflict, the robbers surprisingly give him back his money and escort him to Ashby.


Notes

This chapter introduces the theme of "noble" outlaws. The robbers who ambush Gurth announce that their principle is to rob the rich and give to the poor. Scott reveals that perfectly honorable men have been reduced to outlaw status because of the unjust ways in which their lands have been confiscated from them. He does not paint these outlaws in a negative life, but seems to sympathize with their plight.

Scott intrudes into the narrative in this chapter to speak in his own voice and describe the quarter staff battle. In the nineteenth century, when Scott was writing, the quarterstaff was out of date. Scott, however, felt that this scene was necessary to demonstrate the courage and skill of these bold champions. The intrusion stands out because up to this point in the story, the author has been directly seen in the narrative.

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