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Critical Essay | Critical Essay by W. S. Merwin

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This literature criticism consists of approximately 12 pages of analysis & critique of Critical Essay by W. S. Merwin.
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Critical Essay by W. S. Merwin

SOURCE: Merwin, W. S. Introduction to The Song of Roland, translated by W. S. Merwin, pp. v-xiii. New York: Vintage Books, 1970.

In the following excerpt, Merwin outlines Charlemagne's disastrous battle in the Pyrenees in which Roland was killed and describes how the tale of the defeat, through retelling, eventually achieved legendary status.

Some time near the end of July, Charles (Charles the King, Charles the Emperor, Charles the Great, Charlemagne) turned his army north toward the Pyrenees and France. The year was 778. He was thirty-six years old and he was not used to failure, but even the royal chroniclers would have difficulty in trying to describe his ambitious summer campaign in Spain as though it had been a success.

It had not been hastily conceived. Suleiman, the Moorish governor of Barcelona, had visited Charles in the spring of...

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This section contains 3,514 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Critical Essay by W. S. Merwin - Critical Essay by W. S. Merwin
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