Works of Sir Walter Scott Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2772 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature

(Mackenzie, 2009)

Waverley is another piece of Scott's work that demonstrates and establishes his writing style. This is yet another piece of writing that exemplifies Scott's position as a true storyteller. He had a great ability to create and sustain a large cast of characters that were vivid and varied in of themselves. He developed these characters in their own right, and he developed them amongst intensely descriptive settings. The style of Scott's writing showed that he often created settings that were exciting, turbulent, and historical. (EUL, 2014)

His writing style included the inclusion of dialogue. The style of dialogue helped attract his readers. Using dialogue was definitely a strength of Scott's and a characteristic of his style. He was able to use regional or local speech/dialects of the Scottish people and he was also able to integrate more formal and polished, courteous language of the upper class, such as the knights and aristocrats. Scott is also credited for creating a pattern of the romantic heroes who speak proper English and not English dialects. (Scott, 2010) Sometimes there would be various kinds of dialogue/dialects within one piece of writing. The contribution of the dialogue resulted in increased attraction of readers from various walks of life. People could read about characters that were in the same classes as themselves, and they could be intimately exposed to people of different classes or walks of life through the stylistic use of dialogue in Scott's writings. (EUL, 2014)Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Works of Sir Walter Scott Assignment

As a historical writer, it is obvious that Scott's style must have included details and elements of history. As much as Scott was a historical writer, and a storyteller, he was also somewhat of a weaver. He wove together dialects of dialogue, vivid scenic descriptions, and dramatizations of historical events as part of his writings. (Mackenzie, 2009) Scott also wove together his observations of attitudes and behavior into his style of writing. He was a sort of social historian, providing insight through his depictions of the Scottish society -- from the peasants and rural townspeople, into the middle class professions, and all the way up to the nobility. (EUL, 2014) He gave clarity and detail in all of his works, great and small, characteristic of his style.

One of the special characteristics of his writing included the special attention Scott paid to the ordinary people of the world. In earlier pieces of work, Scott's attention was mainly focused upon royalty. (EUL, 2014) He saw that if he changed his focus, he could still maintain his readership, as well as expand his readership to people who may be were not interested in reading about royalty or were overwhelmed (tired) with stories about the upper classes.

The style of writing established in Waverley set the stage for a whole set of novels, later to be known as the "Waverley novels." (Scott, 2010) Some of these include Guy Mannering (1815), The Antiquary (1816), and the subseries, Tales of My Landlord (1816 -- 1831). (Scott, 2010) Scott, like many great writers, took a fictional form and expressed realities and truths of his people. His feelings for his country were not always clear and sometimes ambiguous, as anyone's feelings for their countries can vary from time to time. He chose his writing as a space to show the world what was happening in his country and to express his feelings for the current state and future of his country through his writing. His ambiguous feelings primarily came from Scotland's union with England, including the modernization and industrialization that this transition brought to the country. These feelings and issues are displayed in more than one work, including Waverley. (EUL, 2014)

There were many kinds of characters and heroes across Scott's works. A special characteristic of his work is not just the presence of heroes in his writings, but the types of heroes present. The heroes may have seemed like they were knights and other members of nobility, but often, the real heroes of his works were the "regular people" of Scotland -- the simple people of the country that were not bound to the same rules or formalities of the aristocracy or ruling class. (EUL, 2014)

Scott also created a type of character that would later be used by other great authors such as Charles Dickens, called the "male ingenue." (EUL, 2014) This type of character was typically a young male. This character was kind of bland or boring, but fundamentally meant well and had good intentions. This character was likely the protagonist of the story, and Scott would place this character in a position where the audience would identify with him over much of the narrative. The use or application of this character as part of Scott's style resulted in an important effect upon styles or methods of characterization, especially by later writers like Dickens and Ainsworth. (EUL, 2014) Some argue that Scott invented a new kind of narrative mode, that he, in fact, invented the historical novel, which influenced other writers such as Tolstoy and Eliot. (Scott, 2010)

Some critics of Scott's works argue that his dedication and technique is sometime quite meticulous and at other times is careless. (Scott, 2010) Most critics praise Scott for his ability to create rich and ornate descriptions of the environments in his works of writing. He was a master, which made his style seem almost effortless in his creation and application of his literary style. His literary style was energetic, and blended stark descriptions with decorum and beauty.

From the perspective of the 21st century, readers might find Scott too wordy, though the writing has vitality. The lack of structure and direction is also a criticism. Critics complain that the structure of many of his works is not compact or concise enough, and that this results in the writing seem like it drags along instead of moving at a pleasing pace. Some critics are harsh and call Scott's lack of consistency in structure and detail as sloppy. (Scott, 2010) Despite the flaws, the writing is overall, crisp and appealing. As with many writers, who they are and what they have done influences the style of writing. For example, Scott's work in the legal profession definitely contributes to his word choice, grammar, and diction of his writings.

A criticism of historical writers, including Scott, is the manipulation or adjustment of historical facts to suit his story. Some of the details may have been changed in content, or in the order in which they actually occurred, but it is not as if Scott attempts to rewrite history fully. Some of these changes to historical details results in mistakes in the writing.

Sometimes the English and Scottish dialects can be confusing to read through, but this can be said for all authors who include regional dialects as their dialogue in their writings. Regional dialects are easier to listen to than they are to read, generally, so sometimes the dialects in Scott's work interfere with rhythm and comprehension. Although Scott is not perfect, the compromises he makes in his writings does not outshine his ability as a very talented writer. (EUL, 2014)

Sir Walter Scott was a man of great talent and vision. The power and influence of his works still persist today. The paper gave an overview of his works, and the primary characteristics of his writings. The paper showed how though Scott's style had flaws, there are were also many strengths. The paper also showed how though his writings had variations among them, there were a number of traits that unified them as a cohesive body of work.


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Works of Sir Walter Scott.  (2014, March 13).  Retrieved September 18, 2020, from

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"Works of Sir Walter Scott."  March 13, 2014.  Accessed September 18, 2020.