Heroism In Florence Goyet's The Song Of Roland

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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…show more content…
A beard is used as a symbol of authority, such as in the lines "by this mustache and beard of mine" (249) and "by this white beard of mine" (261). This sort of oath and/or swearing over the beard seems to imply that there is something special about facial hair during this time. As discussed in the article, a beard represents qualities worth swearing over. Usually when someone has a beard it usually means that they are someone who is wise, and knows what they are doing and who you will most likely go to for advice. Charlemagne was someone that Roland thought highly of and he is someone that helped make Roland who he is and the hero that he has become
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