The Song of Roland Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How do Charlemagne's people refer to themselves?

2. Which one of the following is not a reason to summon Charlemagne?

3. To whom does Marsile pray?

4. According to Ganelon, Marsile begs Charlemagne to save who?

5. When Ganelon met Marsile, he was enveloped in what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Which city remains the property of another King? Which King is it?

2. About what does Roland ask Oliver's advice? Why do the men agree or disagree?

3. What is Charlemagne's reaction when he hears Roland's second call? What does Charlemagne request of his men?

4. Which of Charlemagne's men became enraged and what was Charlemagne's reaction? How was this reaction different than one referred to in an earlier stanza?

5. What is Bromimonde's reaction to being taken to France? How does Charlemagne treat Bromimonde?

6. The French are greatly outnumbered after Marsile arrives. Although the French are sure to die, what causes them to push on?

7. How does Charlemagne react to the news from Blancandrin?

8. What is the purpose of some of the bodies being prepared for burial? What is the significance of the ornate coffin?

9. Who is Baligant and why does he go to Saragossa? What are the consequences if Baligant refuses?

10. How does Blancandrin predict that the plan will work out? What will happen to the city?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Ganelon aided Marsile in devising a devious plot against Charlemagne and Roland. What were the details of Ganelon's plan? How was the plan kept from Charlemagne and Roland? Who was wise to the plan? How was Charlemagne eventually informed? Did Marsile and Ganelon both stick to the plan?

Essay Topic 2

There are many references in the poem as to the invincibility of Charlemagne. Among those references is the recurring appearance of the angels, particularly Gabriel, the King's great faith, and the possession of the spear that lanced Christ's side. What other symbols exist to protect Charlemagne? Are there similar symbols/references on behalf of Marsile or Baligant? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

The battle between Marsile and Charlemagne is actual and metaphoric. Examine the conflict between the kingdoms, their politics and their difference in religious beliefs. How do the latter affect the way the soldiers fight? How did the preparations (or lack thereof) affect the outcome of the battles?

(see the answer keys)

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