The Song Of Roland Beowulf Comparison

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“Had he been a Christian…”1 a popular lament in The Song of Roland as the characters look upon strong Muslim warriors and state that this man would make the perfect Christian. This case represents a viewing of ‘the other’ within the texts of The Song of Roland and Beowulf. Within each story there is the family of the ‘good guy’ or the Christian, and then there is the family of the other. The Song of Roland likes to draw parallels between these two families, giving them similar bonds and connections whereas Beowulf tries to separate the two, demonizing the family of the ‘villain’. Thesis

The families of King Charles and King Marsile are parallels of each other, to the point where one could literally copy and paste one family and another with
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This in part is due to the fact that Roland and Charlemagne are the protagonists and tend to have more of the plot dedicated to them; however, the relationship between Roland and Charlemagne comes across as unbelievably close at times. One of the earliest examples of this is as Charles gives Roland his gauntlet and staff; knowing that he is leaving his nephew to possible death, Charles “cannot prevent his eyes from shedding tears”.4 When Marsile gives his gauntlet to Aelroth, he does not show this same level of emotion. Perhaps it might be arrogance, but Marsile has very little reaction to his nephew going out on a conquest. After the death of Roland, Charles faints several times, before saying “Never will a day dawn without my feeling sorrow for you…”11 Marsile also does lament on the loss of his son, but it isn’t to the same extent that Charles does. Charles mourning lasts two pages whereas Marsile’s is about two lines, where he calls out to his lords and states that he has no heir for Jurfaleu the Blond had been slain.10 The emotional similarities between the two families demonstrates how a vassal should be willing to serve his lord and his family. Roland and Charlemagne have a strong relationship where Roland is the ultimate vassal and willing to die for…show more content…
After the heavy losses of the first battle with Roland, Marsile returns to his wife who is weeping and questioning her gods.12 This eventually translates to her converting to Christianity and taking the name Juliana, but this is after we see a little bit more of her as a Muslim.13 Bramimonde, as the wife of Marsile, is shown to be loyal to him, weeping when he is hurt12, blaming the gods for their plight13, and doing whatever she can to fight back when her tower is under attack14. Through these actions, Bramimonde appears to be an excellent wife and through hew doubt of her religion, she is able to be saved and finds herself in the same role as before, but this time as a Christian named Juliana and as the wife of Charles.15 While her relationship with Charles is not elaborated on, based on how the book treats the relationship between Muslim families and Christian families, it can be assumed that her relationship with Charles is at least as good as, if not better, than her prior one with
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