Song of Roland Essay

719 Words Apr 12th, 2012 3 Pages
Song of Roland
The Song of Roland, or La Chanson de Roland, is an anonymously written poem about Count Roland and his King Charlemagne. The story takes place in the eighth century A.D in Spain and France, but the poem was not composed until sometime during the eleventh century A.D. According to tradition, Roland was the nephew of Charlemagne and possessed the sword Durandel and the horn Oliphant. This epic French poem tells a story of betrayal and revenge with poetic imagery. The Song of Roland serves as the foundation of French literature, giving modern readers insight into the cultural life of France.
In the Song of Roland, leadership and power were extremely important. A leader was meant to be robust, well-spoken and charismatic.
…show more content…
The quality of a leader was able to improve and control the empire and be able to sustain it. Charlemagne noticed how the Franks were not as educated as other civilizations so he set up a school in his palace as well as building schools throughout the empire. Charlemagne was determined to reinforce his kingdom and to bring order to Europe. In 772 he launched a 30-year military campaign to accomplish this objective. By 800 Charlemagne was the recognized ruler of Western Europe. By instituting a central government over Western Europe, Charlemagne restored much of the unity of the old Roman Empire and paved the way for the development of modern Europe.
The Count Roland was portrayed as a prominent leader. Roland “never loved a coward, or arrogant men or those of evil character, nor knight, unless he was a good vassal. Roland was a unique person. He showed loyalty, devotion and determination to be a good vassal.”(45) It is out of a sense of duty that Roland fought to the death at Rencesvals. Duty causes Charlemagne to avenge Roland's death. “Charlemagne arrives on the field of the battle after Roland’s death and is plunged into his bitterest grief. In the poem, duty is often linked to love. Charlemagne and Roland were both leaders yet, they respected each other. The bonds between Charlemagne and Roland, or between Roland and his men, were marked by deep respect and affection.

Related Documents