The Two Drovers by Sir Walter Scott (Characters (Robin Oig MacCombich, a…
The Two Drovers by Sir Walter Scott
Scott's source was George Constable, a friend of his father.
'The Two Drovers' is an illustration of the Highland concept of honour.
It is based on an account that Scott had heard many years previously of the trial and execution in Carlisle of a Highland cattle drover accused of the murder of an English drover.
It was written in 1827 and published as the second tale in Chronicles of the Canongate.
He was the father of historical novel in English Literature.
He was a Scottish author, and wrote it late in his life.
"The Two Drovers" focuses on both
an Englishman and a Scotsman in a tale revolving around nationality.
Harry is described in English terms also with a very positive description.
He has a great ancestry in Scotland but was made fun of in England.
The author puts a strong emphasis on the
personal qualities of the main characters, as well.
describes the Highlander in his traditional dress, complete with kilt,
dirk and plaid,creating a visual image of the Highlander in the mind
of the reader.
Certainly the most prominent trait in both main characters is pride
for their homelands.
Scott uses very different methods of
presenting this pride in his two protagonists.
In the case of Robin Oig, the author chiefly uses imagery to characterize Robin's deep roots in the Scottish highlands.
Robin Oig MacCombich, a Highland drover
Janet of Tomahourich, his aunt
Hugh Morrison of Glanae, a Lowland drover
Harry Wakefield, an English drover
Mr Ireby, a Cumberland squire
John Fleecebumpkin, his bailiff
Ralph Heskett, host of an alehouse
Dame Heskett, his wife
Hortence Bennet, his lover
This actually makes this tale a tragedy.
The prophecy is his destiny, and he cannot avoid his fate.
However, the prophecy ended up being true.
He didn't believe her and treated her as a demented.
The aunt of Robin made a prophecy about Robin killing an Englishmen with his knife.
Fiction and folklore
The Scottish wanted to recuperate their national traditions, because they were disappearing.
In that we see Romantic and national move.
Highlanders preserved more their folk traditions, because they were more isolated.
In that time, society was changing.
The judge feels that Robin is somewhat innocent, because he didn't want to fight and comitted murder based on Scottish rules.
Scottish people do that - strong nationalism.
Robin feels that he has to defend the Scottish honour, so he has to fight with his knife.
Highlanders were compared to North American Indians like savages.
It means boxing and it was very popular among the English.
It became a sport and also very problematic.
Lots of people resolved their problems with it.
They used it as justice (not the judges).
It was an English national identity feature, like the knives of the Scots.
Clash of cultures
It is a microcosmic representation of a long standing historical contention between England and Scotland --of social, ethical and judicial matters.
Both are presented as national stereotypes.
Both the main protagonists, although friends, are culturally polarised and thus blinded to the finer aspects of each other's traditional backgrounds.
A life for a life - Scottish rule. BUT A fist-fight - English rule.
Robin Oig is judged by the English legal system- a fate which he fully expects, he is prepared, in other words, to die as a consequence of his actions. To him, his own death is part of the battle--part of the rules. It is the price of victory.