Cantar de Mio Cid

Topics: El Cid, Cantar de Mio Cid, Middle Ages Pages: 3 (932 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Cantar de mio Cid (Song of the Cid)
This anonymous poem Cantar de mio Cid is the great epic of medieval Spain. It’s one of the oldest Spanish historical documents in existence, and the only one that have survived almost completely intact. Only one copy of the Cid manuscript exists. Historians believe that this manuscript is a copy of the 1207 version, which may have been either the original or a copy of an even earlier manuscript, but most take 1207 as the poem's date of composition. The manuscript, long kept in the Convent of Santa Clara in Vivar, was copied many times. Many versions of the Cid have been published since the eighteenth century, the most influential one being Menendez-Pidal's 1908 edition. Also Robert Southey's Chronicle of the Cid, published in 1808 introduced the work to the English-speaking world. Among the numerous modern English translations of the poem, those by W. S. Merwin and Colin Smith are especially esteemed. Like many literary works of the middle Ages, the Cid is based on an historical figure, but much of this story is fictionalized in order to offer an idealized portrait of the main character and emphasize his valor and loyalty. The poem interweaves irony, heroic drama, and realism to present colorful portraits of Moors, Jews, and Christians, providing modern readers with a unique sight into medieval Spain. The Cantar de mio Cid comprises 3,730 lines divided into seventy-four folios, each with approximately fifty lines of verse. Three folios are known to be missing: the poem's beginning and two later sections. The poem has traditionally been split into three narrative sections, or cantars: the Cantar del destierro (1. 1–1085), the Cantar de las bodas (1. 1086–2275), and the Cantar de Corpes (1. 2276 to the end). These divisions are based on an estimate of the amount of material that could be recited in one sitting. When the poem begins, the Cid has been unjustly exiled by King...
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