A Story of Blood, Death, Loyalty and Honor Depicted in the Poem, The Song of Roland

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In the poem The Song of Roland, the author relates the spectacular fight between King Charlemagne’s army, the Franks, and the Muslim Saracens. The poem tells a story of blood, death, loyalty and honor. Around 1095, the year in which the First Crusade was initiated, we find the first extant version of this great French epic. While there is truth deeply rooted in the poem, much was emphasized and embellished to attract followers in the crusades. Despite appearing as propaganda, the author succeeded in assembling thousands of volunteers for the launch of the crusades. In The Song of Roland, the author created the poem to gather troops through Roland’s character, the Good vs. Evil theme, and the theme of loyalty. One way the author …show more content…
God then accepts Roland’s confessions, as he heard the prayers of his son. At which point God sends his angels to save the soul of he who symbolizes Christ, “God sent down his angel Cherubin and with him Saint Michael of the Peril. With them both came Saint Gabriel. They bear the count’s soul to paradise.” (105) This symbol of sacrificing oneself for the greater good of Christianity was the driving force behind the crusades. People read this narrative and instantly wanted to spread Christianity as God’s will and be able to prove themselves worthy to Heaven. Writing Roland’s character as such a strong and loyal symbol pushed people into wanting to sacrifice much of what they had, if not their lives, for the sake of Christianity. Another reason people were ready to join the crusades after reading the poem was the Good vs. Evil theme. The sides are as clearly marked as they come: the Christian Franks, led by Charlemagne, represent the good and the will of God, while the Muslim Saracens, led by Marsile and Baligant, represent the purest evil. On the battlefield that is the setting for much of the poem, immortal forces fight for control of the Earth, utilizing the bodies of the warring Christians and pagans as pawns in a game of cosmological importance. There are many occurrences in the narrative when God intervenes and assists the Franks in prevailing over evil. One example of God’s intervention is when King Charlemagne prays to God to postpone nightfall

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