Topics for Further Study
• How well does ‘‘Wandering Willie’s Tale’’ fit the pattern of the quest story as outlined by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces? In what ways, if any, does it differ?
• Compare ‘‘Wandering Willie’s Tale’’ with its main source, the folk legend reprinted in Joseph Train’s 1814 book, Strains of the Mountain Muse (pp. 191–95). Discuss how Scott altered the legend, pointing out specific instances. What did he add or change or leave out? What effect did his alterations have?
• Read the rest of Redgauntlet and see to what extent ‘‘Wandering Willie’s Tale’’ fits in with the novel of which it is a part. Some commentators have said the tale has little to do with the novel. Others say its themes parallel those of the novel. What is your view?...
(The entire section is 255 words.)