Ivanhoe Essay, Research Paper
The story of Ivanhoe takes place during the Middle Ages in England with the year being 1194 A.D. It is about the adventures Ivanhoe encounters upon returning from the crusades with his friend and king, King Richard the Lion Heart. Ivanhoe has been disowned by his father because of this, and is forbidden to marry his true love, Lady Rowena. Life was very different during the Middle Ages, and so were the people.
During the Middle Ages, there was much hatred between the Saxons and the Normans. The Normans had taken over England sometime earlier, and had appointed King Richard as the new king. Even though he was not terribly unjust to the Saxons, most Saxons still resented all Normans for taking their country over. While King Richard was away on the crusades, Prince John was placed in charge. He did not like the idea of Normans and Saxons living together as equals, so he plotted to take over the throne from King Richard. However, his attempt failed miserably.
Entertainment was very different during the Middle Ages. It mostly consisted of jousts and what were like mini-wars. During the jousts, the two knights competing on horseback would suddenly charge at each other. Then, they would each lower a long pole until it was body level. Finally, when they got close enough they would try to strike each other which the poles in attempt to nock each other off. The person who stayed on his horse was declared the winner. Also, there were these mini-war like events. A large number of knights, usually around 15, would have a pretty much anything goes war. The winner again, was the person who stayed on his horse the longest. In the movie Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe always won these events. However, the tree champion knights, Morris de Bracey, Frontenac, and Brian Gilbert, wounded him pretty bad.
Also during the Middle Ages, there was a constant power struggle. Everyone always wanted to gain more power, and would do almost anything to obtain it. In the movie, the major power struggle is between King Richard and Prince John. Each of these men thought they would be a better ruler than the other, and this almost started a giant war. However, King Richard outsmarted Prince John when he made Prince John sent all of his troops to a far off city, which gave King Richard the opportunity to find Robin Hood and the Merry Men to stop Prince John and his supporters from making any further attempts to gain more power.
As one can see, life was in fact very different then. There was an open hatred between cultures, which nearly everyone was a part of. Entertainment was much more violent, and no one seemed to mind. Finally, there was a constant power struggle, which left peoples futures totally undecided and held everyone in fear for their life.