The Legendary Tale of Roland

Sample Paper“The Song of Roland” (La Chanson de Roland) is one of the most outstanding masterpieces of French medieval literature, faithfully translated into English by Peter Haidu. It is a representation of the ideology of feudal society in which a vassal’s faithful service to his lord was unbreakable law and its violation considered treachery and betrayal (Haidu 29). The features of manly fortitude, valor, honorable friendship and carrying out one’s duty are considered to be notable features of feudal affinities (Cook 49). Roland – warlords represents the typical image of a valiant warrior defending one’s homeland (Cook 53). The idea that defending the fatherland and fearing shame of defeat are the ultimate goals of a knight permeates through the entire poem.

The Song of Roland is one of the foremost poems of medieval literature! Need a Song of Roland Summary? We can provide it!

Naturally, the representational image of Roland is endowed with the valor and determination that is expected from an ideal army commander. However, weaknesses as passion, negligence and even bragging are also ascribed to him. The author makes it clear that the main protagonist is straightforward, honest with cunning and treachery as being alien to him. Loyalty and dedication to the Emperor of France, a perfect knight, loyal vassal of his lord and protector of the only “true” faith – Christianity is the epitome of this poem. (Haidu 63).

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Top 5 Interesting Facts About Knights!

  1. The strict code of honor usually associated with knights and knighthood (such virtues as honesty, mercy, humility, faith, courage, courtesy) were proposed by the Church to curtail the widespread aggressiveness, rudeness and violence prevalent among this feudal class of individuals but also to align them to the Pope.
  2. The word “chivalry” comes from the French word for knight, which is “chevalier”.
  3. Originally, tournaments were established to allow knights to train, but eventually it turned into a competitive sport in which the loser was forced to give up their armor, horse and possibly weapons. This turned into a sort of “grey-area” arrangement for some who fixed the matches through bribery or other means in return for a cut (talk about modern times).
  4. Due to the enormous cost of the armor, weapons, training, horses and and clothing, becoming a knight can be compared to the cost of a doctor’s education or possibly more (quite a fortune).
  5. Knights became obsolete with the advance of the first modern musket and crossbow, which could effortlessly pierce through thick plates of armor. As a sidenote, the very first primitive cannon made castles obsolete (and a poor investment) as well.

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