According to the poet, an ideal lord is defined as being totally selfless and faithful toward one another. For example, when the Franks notice they are outnumbered against the Pagans and realize their chances of victory are slim, the poet states, “The Franks see that there are so many pagans/On all sides the fields are covered with them. / Time and again they call upon Oliver and Roland/And the twelve peers to act as their protectors” (Roland, 77 ll 1510-1513). The battle between the Pagans and Christians is noteworthy to Oliver and Roland’s character because even though they are vulnerable to injury, they are willing to sacrifice themselves for their fellow knights. In addition, Charlemagne also shows his selflessness to his lords when he prays for revenge on Roland’s behalf. Stating, “May your love be with me this day/ In your mercy, if it pleases you, allow me/ T...
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...is skull and his bones/ . . . ‘Wretched pagan, how did you dare/ Grab hold of me, without thought for right or wrong” (Roland 102 ll 2289-2294). As the reader can’t help but notice once again, even up to his point of death, Roland remains faithful and honest to his king and country.
Although the Christian Franks were defeated by the Pagans, their morale and camaraderie was impenetrable. Throughout the entirety of The Song of Roland examples are given of what composes a true knight or lord. Amongst this symbolic battle of Christianity against Paganism, many lords and knights are acknowledged for their outstanding honor and dedication to their king and country. While several knights disregarded such commendable qualities nevertheless these ideals that promote chivalrous behavior boosts personal and communal morale despite the defeat against the Pagan army.
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