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The song of roland
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The song of roland


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  • 1. The Song ofRoland
  • 2. The earliest extant poem of substantial length in Old French and the best known “chanson de geste” (song of heroic deeds)
  • 3. Chanson de geste is a French type of medieval narrative poem, intended to be sung or chanted and purporting to have some basis in French history.
  • 4. The Song of Roland (La Chanson de Roland) describes a series of fabulous exploits, usually involving Charlemagne and his Paladins, the Twelve Peers
  • 5. Paladins are palace officials or protagonists of a cause.
  • 6. Characters:Roland – the king’s nephew; his “right hand” and renowned retainer; has a horn named Olifant whose distinctive blast can be recognized 30 leagues away
  • 7. He has a sword named“Durendal” and AngelGabriel appears beforehim at critical momentto warn and to advise.
  • 8. In Italian version, he was called Orlando. In Spanish version, he was called Roldan.
  • 9. Charlemagne –the king of France and the leader of crusades who favored Roland; in French history, he was known as Charles the Great
  • 10. Ganelon – Roland’s stepfather who was the cause of destruction of Roland’s army; conspires with the King Marsilla to destroy Roland
  • 11. Oliver – Roland’s bestfriend; brave but unlikeRoland, he was prudentbut blunt in his mannerand action
  • 12. King Marsilla – the king who did the conspiracy with GanelonAlde – the love interest of Roland
  • 13. The epic was divided into three parts:2. The Treachery of Ganelon3. Roncesvalles – the pass where the battle is fought4. The Reprisals – shows Charlemagne’s revenge
  • 14. Subject Matter:Customs, manners and attitudes of French at their dayFeudal relationships and feudal loyalties
  • 15. The crusades and the infidelWarrior virtue of valorFeudal virtue of loyaltyChristian virtue of humility
  • 16. The Cross versus the CrescentThe victory of the Cross over the Crescent
  • 17. Conflicts:Between Christian truth and heathen errorBetween Ganelon and Roland as individuals
  • 18. Symbolisms:Charlemagne – is a symbol of feudal system and his countryGanelon – is a symbol of treachery and betrayal, envy and jealousy
  • 19. Roland – is a symbol of private revenge and the public good which treachery endangers; also a symbol of divine justice and bravery
  • 20. Oliver – is asymbol ofwisdom andprudence
  • 21. The Cross symbolizes Christianity while the Crescent symbolizes Moslem faith.
  • 22. Roland sufered his own “hamartia” .The tragic hero ought to bring misfortune upon himself.
  • 23. Roland is responsible for his own downfall.The hero was blinded with his own desire and recklessness.
  • 24. Roland’s hamartia:2. Roland’s pursuit of glory gave tragic results of his recklessnes.
  • 25. 2. Roland’s desire for future military fame induced him to disregard the immediate crisis.
  • 26. 3. Roland’s choice to risk destruction rather than the possibility of being called a coward.
  • 27. At the opening of the poem, he is proud, insensitive and headstrong. At the end, he recognizes that his behavior was not heroic.
  • 28. The aspect of plot that was used was recognition or anagnorisis.
  • 29. The epic shows the social order in France during the middle ages and that is to fight for God, king and country.
  • 30. The glory of Christian France is shown in having Charlemagne as the symbol of these loyalty, religious, feudal and national.
  • 31. Themes:Right and truth triumph over the evil and sin.God’s will will manifest itself through combat or duet.
  • 32. Medias res was used (i.e. the action begins in the middle) Right away, readers are told that Charlemagne has just finished his Spanish campaign and is about to return home.