Theme Of Loyalty And Fidelity In The Song Of Roland

1287 Words 5 Pages
Loyalty and Fidelity in “The song of Roland” The Song of Roland focuses on the battle of Saragossa between King Charlemagne’s bold and valiant men of France and King Marsille’s Pagan (Muslim) Spaniards. It’s through this battle brought on by Ganelon’s repute and revenge toward his stepson; Charlemagne’s nephew; Count Roland that the cultural values and conflicts between Western Europe and the Islamic world came to light. There is a vast amount of cleverly executed detail on the thoughts and feelings going on through the heads of the Pagans of Spain and more so in the case of “The Song of Roland”; the Christians of France. Following along with these character’s thoughts and feelings puts the reader in an emotional state which allows them …show more content…
This anger was brought about by the more drastic than thought of requests of Charlemagne which requested through Ganelon, “You must submit to Christian law and give him half of Spain.” The part of the request which puts Marsille over edge is when Ganelon explains, “If you repute his offer, his power will bind and shackle you, you will be taunted, judged, humiliated, sentenced, slaughtered, and die like a miserable dog” (P. 13). This threat on top of what he offers seems unnecessary and possibly communicated before Marsille’s response to the initial offer in order to excite him so that Ganelon could later take advantage of that anger to recruit Marsille to fight against Roland. Ganelon then explains how impossible it is to fight Charlemagne to Marsille as long as he has Roland to rally and fight with his troops. It’s by this enticement of destroying Roland, the one Ganelon hates and all the spoils Marsille supplies him that ultimately changes Marsille’s plan of “peace” in favor of war which he can clearly see as being winnable. It’s by this pride and distain toward kneeling and succumbing to a higher force that the personality of the Muslims is represented. They are represented as non-faltering unless it’s by common rationality that they could continue living in peace under the “Christian” faith while being able to retain some of what …show more content…
With the tactic of multiple waves of one-hundred thousand pagan warriors to attack where Roland guards, the twelve peers and Roland realize the massive wave they face before them. This is where Roland’s soon to be known hubris is shown and he refuses to call for aid from Charlemagne and his other men; for Roland is too proud of a knight and refuses to seem weak. Roland in this situation can be seen as an overwhelming personification of Christian rule and the overall viewpoint that the non-Christian or Muslim side of the world had on Christians. That viewpoint being overbearing and having Christian’s own pride be their own undoing. However, we are shown this is not the case with Oliver, the one who requests for Roland to call for help with his Oliphant who later gets into a conflict when at their realization point that all this caused was chaos within their troops

Related Documents