Song of Roland Summary Essay Example
Song of Roland Summary Essay Example

Song of Roland Summary Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
View Entire Sample
Text preview

Not every portrayal of Roland presents him as a perfect hero.

What does Roland's heroism lead to his own and others' failure, and what does it reveal about the culture in which The Song of Roland originated? This heroic epic portrays the downfall of Roland, the brave commander of Charlemagne's troops. Although Roland is not portrayed as a flawless hero in the epic, I believe his downfall stems from his pride. This same pride sheds light on the cultural context of the poem's origin.

During the late 700s in this culture, it is expected and greatly upheld to take great pride in one's religion and even make sacrifices. At the beginning of the Crusades, The Song of Roland was written to stir up Christians and motivate them. The poem glorifies men like Roland rather than celebrating certain individuals such as Oliver. Roland, the


most glamorous warrior, is the poem's hero. However, he lacks the majesty of the Christian king Charlemagne and the knowledge and wisdom of his friend Oliver.

The main subject of the epic poem is Roland, a remarkable crusader who stands out due to his frequent conflicts with other leaders in Charlemagne's army. These disagreements are caused by Roland's unwavering pride and indomitable will which make him a virtuous leader as well as the reason for his own downfall and those of others. Nevertheless, Roland acknowledges his strengths and weaknesses as someone suitable for the Crusades. He fearlessly puts himself at risk and jeopardizes others' lives to gain land and glory.

Roland demonstrates fearlessness and loyalty to both his king and the Catholic Church through conveying an overwhelming sense of pride in his actions. At the

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

start of the poem, Roland appoints Ganelon, his stepfather, to deliver a message from Charlemagne to King Marsilion without hesitation. However, Ganelon declines the task with irritation and challenges Roland by threatening to make him pay for nominating him if he returns from his journey to Marsilion. It is possible that Roland anticipated Ganelon's refusal and utilized it as a chance to showcase his worthiness to Charlemagne.

Within the Song of Roland, proof of Roland's pride is evident in his failure to call for assistance when attacked by Saracens - a stubborn behavior that ultimately harms both himself and the other Crusaders. Furthermore, Ganelon, Roland's stepfather and greatest adversary, orchestrates an attack against him with the help of Saracen forces in an attempt to separate him from the Christian troops.

The theme of extreme pride is prevalent throughout The Song of Roland. Roland, being proud, refuses to sound the battle horn, leading to a massacre of Charlemagne’s army. He is not the only one with such pride; it is also evident in the crusade and the story itself. Without pride for religion, there would not be a crusade or the tale of Roland.

During the late 700s, religion and the importance placed on one's religion were highly regarded in this poem.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds