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Word Count: 1,594
Setting Ivanhoe is set in approximately twelfth century England during the time of feudal Europe the crusades Richard the Lion Hearted and Robin Hood Chivalry is still a major force in England as is Christianity The story refers more exactly to a period towards the end of the reign of Richard I when his return from his long captivity was yearned for by his subjects being under of his brother Prince John who was incompetent as a monarch and corrupt unfairly taxing the citizens The condition of the English nation was at this time sufficiently miserable King Richard captivity in the clutches of the cruel and perfidious Duke of Austria was being prolonged as requested by Prince John who was quite enjoying his power The nobles were also taking advantage of their power during the kings absence with their tyranny causing much suffering among the inferior classes Also Ivanhoe may take place soon after the Conquest by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 because the Normans and the Anglo-Saxons are still somewhat hostile towards each other during the course of the adventure and Scott reveals the hatred and malice that Saxons felt towards Normans They still speak different languages still another barrier between the two races Only educated could understand both the Norman French and the Anglo-Saxon although even they would pretend not to understand each other refusing to speak in their enemies tongue Throughout the novel nobility gives the Normans because the Normans were the victors in the Battle of Hastings The Normans had the power so everything affiliated with Saxons was considered inferior The audience was shocked when a Saxon won the tournament at Ashby and still more astonished when the Queen of Love and Beauty chosen was a Saxon woman Indeed the main character Ivanhoe was disinherited by his father for wanting to serve a Norman king In addition the absolute persecution of the Jews is lucid during this time period
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