Ivanhoe- Ulrica the Hag

December 2, 2016 General Studies

Describe how the reader learns more about the character as each part is revealed.

In his novel Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott first introduces the reader to his wild character Ulrica the Hag in chapter 24, where she is known as Urfried. She is spinning in the turret of de BA…”uf’s castle where the captured Jewess Rebecca is led by two guardsmen. Scott describes the woman as an “old sibyl,”” muttering a Saxon rhyme as she spins. Rebecca’s guards taunt the “old hag,”” calling her an “old house-cricket,”” though they do acknowledge there was a time when Dame Urfried’s slightest word “would have cast the best man-at-arms out of his saddle;- these days, however, Urfried is subject to the command of every groom. .

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Urfried tells Rebecca how her youthful beauty was twice as great as the looks of the Jewess herself. According to the old hag, she had a powerful position in Front de BA…”uf’s castle in her youth. Though given a look of “malignant envy- from Dame Urfried, Rebecca treats the old woman with respect, calling her “good mother- and asking her mercy. The contempt Urfried shows the beautiful Rebecca suggests that the hag is more than capable of great evil; her disdain foreshadows the possibility of her causing harm to someone later in the book. .

Urfried shows Rebecca little pity or mercy because the hag was shown no mercy as a young women. Her harsh life has made her very hard and bitter in her premature old age. The only mercy she shows the Jewess is when Rebecca is able to persuade Urfried to leave the imprisonment of the tower and help the wounded Ivanhoe. .

The old woman reveals most of her character through her conversation with Cedric, whom she stops in the castle, thinking he is a priest. She reveals that her name is really Ulrica, and she is the daughter of the thane of Torquilstane, who was murdered by Front de BA…”uf’s father. Cedric, a fellow Saxon, is shocked to hear this news: his father was a friend of Torquil Wolfganger.


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