Wandering Willie's Tale Questions and Answers
by Sir Walter Scott

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How does Scott combine history with the supernatural in order to put forth an ambiguous message to the reader in "Wandering Willie's Tale"?

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Wandering Willie, a colorful tell-teller of a small Scottish town, uses the typical elements of the Gothic genre to convey a legendary story that presumably took place in the Redgauntlet castle; a historical and familiar place to all who listened to the story.

The story is quite simple: a baron, Sir Robert Redgauntlet loses his political power and money, so he resorts to make money from his most faithful tenant, Steenie Steenson. The problem is that Sir Robert, who by now has turned greedy, accuses Steenie of not paying on time, and other unfair accusations regarding his payments. To top things, Sir Robert dies the day Steenie comes with one of his payments, right on the spot, not leaving any record of them being made. As the heir of Sir Robert takes over, he also (his name is Sir John) demands the money again, until it is finally found.

How does the supernatural become linked with history? By interweaving the story with Gothic elements that bring to it a completely different tone and

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lolaleon | Student

Thank you very much for your elaborate answer, but my question was concerning the ambiguous message of the story that Scott conveys by mixing the supernatural with the historical.