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Sir Walter Scott's characterization of Two Drovers.

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Introduction

Sir Walter Scott's Characterization of Two Drovers Much of Sir Walter Scott's popularity during the early eighteen hundreds came from his ability to draw forth the national pride of his readers, be they Scottish or English. "The Two Drovers" takes this element and pushes it immediately to the forefront by focusing on both an Englishman and a Scotsman in a tale revolving around nationality; however, Scott is not merely satisfied with establishing his protagonists as simply the model Highlander and model Englishman. Throughout the story, the author puts a strong emphasis on the personal qualities of the main characters, characterizing them both as proud individuals, while also noting their individual talents and temperaments. Certainly the most prominent trait in both main characters is pride for their homelands, but Scott uses very different methods of presenting this pride in his two protagonists. In the case of the Highland Scott, Robin Oig, the author chiefly uses imagery to characterize Robin's deep roots in the Scottish highlands. ...read more.

Middle

but Sir Walter Scott places Harry in the middle of the commotion to show the reader how strong his loyalties are to his fellow countrymen; and when push comes to shove, the Highlander and the Englishman have perhaps a bit more pride than is good for them. Yet, while both main characters share a pride for their respective lands, Scott deliberately characterizes Harry and Robin as being very different people. The author depicts the Highlander, for example, as a man who has a fairly level head while harboring lofty ambitions. Robin Oig has traveled through many parts of Scotland and England and has acquired a good deal of experience in cross-culture interactions. The author notes that Robin has acquired enough tact to keep his "pride of birth" to himself, stating that the Highlander's his social graces are well in tune with what others might consider "pretentious" (225). It can also be seen in the story that he is slow to anger and apprehensive about being swept into a conflict. ...read more.

Conclusion

This trait plays a key role in the plot of the story as the Englishman is equipped to deal Robin a severe blow; knocking his opponent to the floor, and worse, wounding the Highlander's pride. Yet, even more important to this scene and the entire story is Harry's hot temperament. Scott first presents the Englishman as "irascible, sometimes to the verge of being quarrelsome; and perhaps not the less inclined to bring his disputes to a pugilistic decision" (231). Harry later exhibits his readiness to come to blows by refusing to let the Highlander leave without a fight. Ultimately, the Englishman's quick temper and physical size set him apart from the characteristically calm Robin Oig. In conclusion, Scott's description of Robin Oig and Harry Wakefield in "The Two Drovers" focuses on the characters' equally strong pride for their native lands along with their individual talents and dispositions. These differences, propelled by the force of pride, culminate in a true tragedy. Harry Wakefield, with his short fuse and strong fist and Robin Oig, with his Scottish pride and secret ambitions both posses too much pride to back down from a heated situation, and ultimately die as a result of a simple misunderstanding. ...read more.

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