The Epic Of The Song Of Roland Essay

The Epic Of The Song Of Roland Essay

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The epic The Song of Roland displays the themes of religion, heroism, bravery and honour. In this epic Roland seems like a normal soldier who is simply doing his job in defending his territory and doing as Charlemagne says. He does not seem to have any want for personal glory like heroes in other epics. The question that arises about heroism is it possible to grow into a hero or are you born a hero? And what makes a true hero? Roland is an example of a true hero who shows bravery throughout the epic even up until the day that he dies.
In Florence Goyet 's article " Narrative Structure and Political Construction: the Epic at Work" she discusses how Roland’s personal choices affects his relationships and how he makes his decisions that ultimately makes him a hero. Ganelon’s hatred for Roland, which is so far the only real “personal” thing in The Song of Roland, seems quite impersonal. He hates his stepson, so he decides to try to get him killed. Though it is a choice based on personal emotion, it seems logical and not very emotional. So far there has been no great shows of emotion in the epic, and though we see many choices that are based on the personal interests of the characters, the epic still seems quite stiff/prescribed.
Goyet 's article uses the example of the relationships with Roland and Oliver and also the relationship between Roland and his step father Ganelon. Goyet talks about the two scenes that center around the call of the horn, before and after the first battle against the Saracens. Both
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Oliver and Roland plead for Charlemagne to be called to the aid of their rear guard. Both scenes show great differences and brings out two political attitudes of Roland and Oliver. In the second scene t...

... middle of paper ... Roland who he is and the hero that he has become (7).
In Rosenstreich’s “Reappearing Objects”, the idea that the repetition in The Song of Roland allows the audience to see that “fate is not the only force to shape a destiny” surfaces. This concept makes even more sense when we look at Roland as being a hero that is significantly different than other characters. Repetition allows us to see all sides of the hero, like a diamond being held up to a light source. We see not just the heroic deeds and victories, but also the failures and losses. We see Roland cutting down thousands of pagans as well as mourning
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countless deaths. Repetition shows the audience the good, the bad, and the ugly. It also places significance on fleeting moments that come to pass, allowing the audience to stop and think about the weight of what has just occurred.

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