Marmion Study Guide

Marmion Study Guide

Original title:
Published May 29th 2008 by BiblioLife (first published 1808)
ISBN 1426410409 (ISBN13: 9781426410406)

A poem or historical romance in verse “Marmion” by Walter Scott is the largest in volume poem among poetic works. “Marmion” brought the author to the top of his poetic glory. Scott undoubtedly considered himself to be the successor of the creative traditions of the ancient Scottish bards, as he speaks in the epistles to the six songs of the poem “Marmion.” This work of art is a great example of the aesthetics of the “gothic” novel.

The poem “Marmion” is devoted to the events of a less distant historical era. W. Scott returns to the historical events of the 16th century in his work. This poem reflects the artistic and social paintings of the Scottish people in the feudal epoch.

Marmion wants to marry the rich orphan Claire de Clare, the heiress of estates in Scotland. But he has a rival - the young knight Ralph de Wilton. The Lord decides to get rid of him by forging letters accusing the young man of treason. Constance de Beverly, a nun who has escaped from the monastery because of her love for Marmion, helps him in this.

Constance turns into the charming attendant of her beloved, who, on the contrary, does not remain permanent in his feelings for a long time.

Scott masterfully depicts the violent despair that engulfed the abandoned heroine, her revenge and the terrible punishment that befell her as an apostate by the verdict of a monastic court. Like Constance, the knight Marmion is a typical romantic hero. His exclusiveness is emphasized not only by personal courage but also by the mysterious atmosphere around him, in particular, Scott successfully intrigues the reader with the origin of the hero. Marmion is an integral and “ambivalent” nature, he is a brave warrior who is not devoid of some features of knight's valor, but at the same time, he is insidious and unscrupulous.

At the same time, Marmion is acting in a completely concrete historical period, and the hero’s personal drama unfolds in the poem on the background of events of 1513 when the English King Henry VIII and the Scottish monarch Jacob IV met in the Battle of Flodden Field. This Battle was disastrous for the Scots.