The romance is divided into three types on the basis of content. The first concerns matters of Britain and deals with Arthurian legend and Celtic lore. The third concerns France and focuses on stories of Charlemagne and his circle, as well as on stories of William of Orange, drawn from the chansons de geste.
The following entry presents criticism from to on The Song of Roland. In its celebration of heroic deeds and feudal chivalric ideals, The Song of Roland reveals much about the culture of which it is a product, is invaluable to historians in its depiction of the evolution of ethics and Christianity, and is prized for its literary merit and beauty.
The original, anonymous manuscript of The Song of Roland has been lost, so it is best represented by the line manuscript held at Oxford, which is believed to be a copy of a copy of the original.
Historians believe the story was told for inspiration, to help rally troops to battle. The Song of Roland has been compared in importance to the Iliad and its depiction of honor and courage has engaged readers for centuries.
Plot and Major Characters The plot of The Song of Roland unfolds chronologically and directly, with no ancillary matters to interrupt its flow. The characters are largely symbolic representations of various qualities: Charlemagne, the wise king; Roland, the fearless knight; Marsile, the evil infidel; and Ganelon, the treacherous schemer.
Charlemagne and his men, weary in their seventh year of battle against pagan forces in Spain, have captured every heathen stronghold but the kingdom of Saragossa. Its ruler, Marsile, offers a treaty: The offer is made in bad faith; Marsile has no intention of surrendering and wants only for Charlemagne to end his siege of the city and get out of Spain.
Charlemagne does not trust Marsile but nevertheless accepts the overture, although Roland strenuously objects. Roland nominates his stepfather, Ganelon, as emissary to Marsile. Ganelon initially balks but is forced to accept the dangerous commission.
He publicly vows to wreak vengeance on his hated stepson, who laughs derisively at the threat. In collusion with Marsile, Ganelon plots his revenge: The scheme proceeds as planned: Despite their forces being outnumbered five to one, Roland three times refuses, citing his desire to preserve his family honor and his determination to win alone.
When defeat is imminent, Roland at last sounds his oliphant, though it is too late to save the rear guard. He blows his horn so forcefully that his temples burst, and Charlemagne hears and turns his forces around. Amid vain attempts to break Durandal, his sword, so that it may not be taken by a lesser knight, Roland painfully makes his way to the front of the battlefield, wishing Charlemagne and the Franks to know that he died bravely.
As Roland dies from the wound he sustained sounding the oliphant, angels descend to accompany his soul to God. Once this conflict is resolved, the trial of Ganelon begins. In the denouement of The Song of Roland Ganelon argues that his action was not treason against his liege lord, Charlemagne, but honorable personal revenge against Roland.
As The Song of Roland ends, a weary and mourning Charlemagne is summoned by the archangel Gabriel to undertake yet another crusade. Sarah Kay and other scholars, however, maintain that Roland is improperly judged when his behavior is evaluated by modern standards and that his behavior was beyond reproach according to the ethos in his own time.
Critics use the story as a means of studying the history of ethics and its evolution over the centuries. Critical Reception Much attention has been focused on study of the surviving texts of the tale.The Song of Roland is a narrative of knights in battle, but Lodovico Ariosto’s sixteenth century Orlando furioso (, , ; English translation, ) concerns a smitten Roland (Orlando.
Roland, the main character from the epic poem, The Song of Roland fits the definition of both a tragic and an epic hero because he tries to immortalize himself, he performs super human feats, he has interventions from the supernatural, he is of high birth, he is pitied by the audience, and he has one fatal flaw.
Song of Roland Anonymous - Song of Roland Song of Roland literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Song of Roland.
Other Essays On "The song of Roland" Hotel California Essay words - 6 pages Wright 1Mackenzie Wright3 November, WarrenEnglish"Hotel California"There is a lot of discrepancy over the meaning of the song "Hotel California".
The Song of Roland begins with the last city standing in Spain as Saragossa which is held by Marsilla, a Muslim king. Marsilla is terrified by the great wrath of Charlemagne, the Frank king conquering near all of Muslim Spain for the past seven years and demanding the conversion to Christianity of.
In The Song of Roland, Roland "embody an especially pure form of the spirit of feudal loyalty to one's overlord" (Lawall }. The websites describe Charles the Great as a father figure and Roland as a loyal and honorable subject.