The Song of Roland Study Guide

The Song of Roland Study Guide

Original title:
La Chanson de Roland
Published December 30th 1957 by Penguin Books (first published 1100)
ISBN 0140440755 (ISBN13: 9780140440751)

“The Song of Roland” is the oldest French rhymed text. It is the historical epic poem that depicts the events of the Battle of Roncevaux Pass. It is a fascinating text that is a must read for any citizen of the world.

Even those who aren’t fond of poetry must read “The Song of Roland”. It is exciting, thrilling, impressive and useful for your general knowledge of history. Each of the 4000 well-crafted lines submerges the reader into the majestic mountains, fierce battlefields, beautiful green nature and courageous characters.

Many of us know the story of Roland from the early childhood. The poem is a glorious depiction of the Charlemagne reign and the challenges his army had to face. His army is taking advantage of the Muslims in Spain, but exhausted from years of wars, they decide to accept the Muslim king Marsilla peace offer. The reader is left wondering how sincere this peace offering is, but the French are already sending their representative to seal the deal and are preparing to go back home.

Ganelon, the stepfather of Roland, is nominated as a messenger to deliver the good news to Marsilla. Outraged, he turns against his own army and helps Muslim plot a revenge on the French army and Roland. Roland was the bravest and the most respected warrior of the army, thus by trying to eliminate him the enemies wanted to weaken the French and tip the scale.

What could have been the greatest tragedy actually turned into a glorious battle where French have proved to be the winners once again. The courage, the help from the external forces, the luck – everything was on the side of Charlemagne loyal people.

“The Song of Roland” reads more like a picturesque film than a poem. It’s rich in wordings and meanings, it’s also rich in heritage and symbolism. All this makes the poem an easy and fascinating read for anybody.

New Essays

Song of Roland

1 Humanities 230 Qualities of a Knight The book The Song of Roland, taught aristocrats and knights how they should behave and what rules to follow for their king and land. Not only does the book teach them how to behave while at court with their king, but also how they should act while away at war...

"The song of Roland"

Main Characters: Charlemagne- the Christian, Frank king who is notably an ally to the Pope and great Conqueror. He was also known as Charles the Great. Roland- The "hero" of The Song of Roland. Not much is known from him in a historical standpoint. Roland's tragic flaw is pride. Oliver- Roland's...

The Song of Roland

The greatest French epic and a landmark of medieval literature, The Song of Roland, is the earliest existing example of the song of deeds. It created an enormously popular genre in Europe in the middle ages and after. In its celebration of heroic deeds and feudal chivalric ideals, The Song of...

Song of Roland Notes

Roland essay notes Citation: Prompt: In what ways did Ganelon’s character as a feudal warrior conflict with his role in Christian feudal society? What can those conflicts tell us about the writer’s ideal view of society? Thesis: Ganelon’s traitorous actions against Roland, Charlemagne, and...

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