Charlemagne In The Song Of Roland

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The rule of Charlemagne had an integral influence on the West during the eighth and ninth centuries. Charlemagne centralized power throughout the West, united people religiously, and reformed education. In Notker’s Deeds of Charlemagne and the anonymously written The Song of Roland, Charlemagne is portrayed as the ideal Christian ruler. In both works, he is characterized as righteous, wise, and deeply respected by the people of his empire. These positive characteristics of Charlemagne are emphasized heavily in both works. There is a biased point of view in both The Song of Roland and in the Deeds of Charlemagne to achieve the purpose of promoting Charlemagne’s reign. This propaganda is achieved through the use of divine references, which suggest that Charlemagne was chosen by God to rule.
Charlemagne is portrayed as an ideal Christian ruler in the Deeds of Charlemagne through the use of Biblical allusions. One similarity between Notker’s writing and the Bible is present in Notker’s introduction to the way in which Charlemagne punished the proud. After describing how Charlemagne rewarded the humble, Notker writes, “As we have shown how the most wise Charles
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While Charlemagne was sleeping, “God sent Saint Gabriel to him; / He [gave] him orders to guard the emperor” (The Song of Roland, 185:2526-27). In the Bible, Saint Gabriel was the angel sent to the Virgin Mary by God for the scene of the annunciation (Luke 1:26-38). Mary was God’s chosen one to carry Jesus Christ. Choosing Gabriel as God’s messenger for Charlemagne in The Song of Roland signifies that Charlemagne was God’s chosen ruler. This scene is evidence of propaganda because Charlemagne’s reign as emperor is being portrayed as a divine mandate by God. Implying that Charlemagne is God’s chosen ruler serves the purpose of portraying Charlemagne’s reign as perfect and ideal for Christian
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