Еssay on The Song of Roland

The development of literature in the medieval ages was characterized by the presence of religious motives which influenced consistently the development of literature. Nevertheless, religion did not prevent the development of different genres and works which were focused on heroic deeds, love and sufferings of people as well as joyful life, which was apparently quite different from the traditional Christian ascetic culture promoted by the Catholic Church.

In this respect, it is possible to name “The Song of Roland”. This is an epic poem depicting heroic deeds of the main character, Roland, may be viewed as a classical work of the medieval epoch because it glorified the main character who is depicted as a defender of the Christian faith. The entire poem depicts the struggle of Christians and Muslims and the main character leads the heroic struggle against Muslims that emphasizes the significance of the victory of Christians at that epoch and the importance of the faith. At the same time, the epic poem reveals the major values of the society at that epoch ”“ religion, devotedness to the king, and nobility.

In contrast to “The Song of Roland”, “Bisclavret”, which is one of the lais of Marie de France, is less concerned with religious motives.

Instead, the lais contains a mystic story of the main character, Bisclavret, who, being werewolf, is trapped because of the treachery of his wife. At this point, it is important to stress the theme of treachery and the role of a woman. In contrast to “The Song of Roland”, which glorifies the man’s noble and heroic deeds, “Bisclavier” reveals the treason of the woman, which actually mirrors the general attitude to women at the epoch.

In this respect, “The Letters of Abelard and Heloise”, such as “Woman is More Bitter than Death” and “Forbidden Love and its Punishment”, basically continue the theme of women’s position in the medieval society. Heloise and Abelard’s love becomes a subject of their mutual suffering and similarly to “Bisclavier”, the letters tend to show that Heloise is one of the major reasons of suffering of both characters since their love is forbidden and Heloise, being subject of Aberald’s passion, can be viewed as the main cause of troubles of main characters.

Thus, in conclusion it should be said that the medieval works discussed above reveal the importance of religion in the life of medieval society and the importance of heroic deeds which were glorified. At the same time, these works reveal the huge difference in views of people on men and women at the Middle Ages.

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