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Friends and Enemies in Walter Scott’s Crusader Novels

Friends and Enemies in Walter Scott’s Crusader Novels

(p.82) Chapter Three Friends and Enemies in Walter Scott’s Crusader Novels
Romanticism and the Question of the Stranger
David Simpson
University of Chicago Press

This chapter first takes a look at Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to provide an overview of the relations, tension, and binary distinction between the Christian and the Jew, the friend and the enemy, the self and the other. By examining the roles and relationship between Shylock and Antonio, the chapter is able to relate it to other similar and reversed roles that have emerged in literature, particularly those in Walter Scott’s works, Ivanhoe, The Bethrothed, and The Talisman. These works reflect Scott’s task of creating a national history. His Invanhoe shows Richard the Lionheart to have been as comfortable in exploiting and punishing Jews as doing battle with Saracens, a quality that does not make him very much removed from his predecessor Henry II. Thus the chapter explores the politics in Scott’s works: his insistence on the integrity of the refusal to convert, or his refusal to suggest that tolerating radical differences is possible.

Keywords:   Walter Scott, Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Ivanhoe, The Bethrothed, The Talisman, refusal to convert, radical differences, Jews, Saracens

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