Topics for Discussion
1. What caused the conflict between the Normans and the Saxons?
2. Discuss the importance of each of the three major settings of the novel: Ashby, Torquilstone, and Templestowe.
3. How does Scott use historical events, such as the Third Crusade and the Norman invasion of England, and historical figures, such as King Richard and Prince John, in constructing his fictional work?
4. Contrast Ivanhoe with his main antagonist, Brian de Bois-Guilbert. What do the events of the story reveal about their characters?
5. Why does Cedric forgive his disinherited son, Ivanhoe, after clinging for so long to the belief that the boy acted dishonorably?
6. Ivanhoe has two heroines, Rowena and Rebecca. Which seems more important? Why?
7. Why do Rebecca and Isaac decide to leave England at the end of the novel? Do you agree with their decision? Why or why not?
8. What are Ivanhoe's feelings for Rebecca? Why does he not marry her?
9. How effective is Ivanhoe as a study of the virtues and defects of the feudal system and the code of chivalry?