The Song of Roland

Good Essays
The Song of Roland Essay

Most young boys see strong, courageous characters in many of their cartoons, or in their books. The cartoon their watching may be new, but the image of a hero has been around for thousands of years. The tragic and epic heroes have been central characters in some of the most important pieces in history. The epic hero is characterized by being a person of high birth, being capable of superhuman feats, intervention of the supernatural, and trying to immortalize themselves through valorous deeds. The tragic hero is very similar, they are also of importance, usually a very brave character, they are pitied by the audience, and the tragic hero has one major flaw which ends up being their demise. 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. Roland shows many traits of an epic hero such as trying to immortalize himself through his actions. Throughout the story he does many things that are not completely logical, but are done to immortalize himself and his name. An example of this is when he realizes that he is about to go to battle against one hundred thousand Saracens and decides to not blow his olifant that would signal for reinforcements, saying “I’d be a fool to do it. I would lose my good name all throughout sweet France” ( Goldin, stanza 83). He was only trying to protect his name, but by not signaling for help he sealed his fate and the fate of all the twenty thousand french warriors with him. He eventually is persuaded to signal for help when the Archbishop says “ Let the king come, he can avenge us then - these men of Spain must not go home exulting!” ( Goldin, stanza 132). Roland blows the olifant, but not to save his life only to make sure his death is avenged

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Song of Roland

    • 543 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The greatest French epic and a landmark of medieval literature, The Song of Roland, is the earliest existing example of the song of deeds. It created an enormously popular genre in Europe in the middle ages and after. 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. Written…

    • 543 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Song of Roland

    • 4117 Words
    • 17 Pages

    lightness of their armor and by the lay of the land where the action took place, whereas the Franks were hindered greatly by their heavy armor and the terrain. In this battle Eggihard, the surveyor of the royal table; Anselm, the count of the palace; and Roland, prefect of the Breton Marches, were killed, together with many others. Nor could revenge be taken at the moment, for as soon as the act had been done, the enemy scattered so completely that no trace of them was left behind. To make sense of his…

    • 4117 Words
    • 17 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Song of Roland

    • 602 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Roland is not depicted as a hero in every way. In what particular way does his heroism cause him to fail himself and others, and what does that tell us about the culture out of which the poem emerges? The Song of Roland is a heroic epic that depicts the tragic defeat of Roland, the courageous leader of Charlemagne’s army. Within the epic Roland is not depicted as a hero in every way. I believe that Roland’s pride eventually becomes the root cause of his failure to himself and to others. It is this…

    • 602 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Song Of Roland

    • 300 Words
    • 2 Pages

    following topic: How does Ganelon persuade King Marsilion to plan an attack against Roland and the rear guard? Consider the following before writing: * the initial conversation between Ganelon and the Saracen envoy. * the way in which Ganelon states Charles's message (in the harshest way possible). * How Blancadrin assists Ganelon in directing anger away from Ganelon and Charles and instead directs it towards Roland. Naturally you will want to discuss Ganelon's motives, but they should be mentioned…

    • 300 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Song Of Roland

    • 634 Words
    • 3 Pages

    CHARLEMAGNE IN THE SONG OF ROLAND The textbook displays Charlemagne as an astounding and great military leader but examines a few of his flaws as well. The Song of Roland creates the image of Charlemagne that is an extraordinary, legendary leader. They both tell about what great things he accomplished in his life, the many wars he won and how his bravery carried him through everything. The Song of Roland praised him in such a legendary way to create the impression of a heroic leader. By doing this…

    • 634 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    "The song of Roland"

    • 386 Words
    • 2 Pages

    is notably an ally to the Pope and great Conqueror. He was also known as Charles the Great. Roland- The "hero" of The Song of Roland. Not much is known from him in a historical standpoint. Roland's tragic flaw is pride. Oliver- Roland's best friend and advisor. Oliver is very brave and noble. He attempts to urge Roland to blow his Oliphant to reach the Franks Plot Summary Charlemagne's army led by Roland is fighting the Muslims. Marsilla, The Muslim king is scared of Charlemagne's army and offers…

    • 386 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Song Of Roland Propaganda

    • 855 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Song of Roland is considered to be the national epic of the French, as well as a source of patriotism for the French people (Cunningham 1). It created the basis for Old French literature and the French language as we read it today (Taylor 35). This epic has stood the test of time, with the first known translation of The Song of Roland being brought to light between 1086 and 1170 (Keller 242). For many years, scholars have debated the reasons and meanings for The Song of Roland. Did Roland actually…

    • 855 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Crusades Top of Form How did the Song of Roland reflect the ideals of the time? What was important to Crusaders? The Song of Roland depicts disregarding the actual history, Charlemagne capable of conquering all of Spain. The account is legend. Roland, a Frankish lord and Charlemagne's own nephew. The "treachery" of the Christian Basques becomes transformed into the treachery of a single man, Ganelon, and the Basques themselves are replaced by Moslems, whom the poet calls Saracens or pagans…

    • 772 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Song Of Roland Essay

    • 932 Words
    • 4 Pages

    A big theme in the Song of Roland is the thought of an all benevolent and all-kind God. People in The Song of Roland assume that God will step into events and help them it they submit to him. It seems believable that deciding the verdict at Ganelon's trial should be done by combat, because God will supposedly aid the man in the right, and yet evil things happen. And even though bad things happened the poem manages to turn them into part of Gods plan. Several times through the book event, whether…

    • 932 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Song of Roland Notes

    • 1319 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Roland essay notes Citation: Prompt: In what ways did Ganelon’s character as a feudal warrior conflict with his role in Christian feudal society? What can those conflicts tell us about the writer’s ideal view of society? Thesis: Ganelon’s traitorous actions against Roland, Charlemagne, and ultimately God reveal the writer’s ideas of the perfect Christian feudal society. While Roland and Charlemagne serve as archetypes of perfect servants of God, Ganelon plays the part of the bad, which accentuates…

    • 1319 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays