Le Cid

What is the theme in Le Cid by Pierre Corneille?

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Much of the action of this play is stimulated by honor. It is for his father's honor that Don Rodrigue challenges his future father-in-law to a duel in the very beginning of the play. Before doing so, Rodrigue contemplates honor and how it affects his life. His father was dishonored by a slap in the face and the fact that his arm was too weak to challenge Don Gomes. Rodrigue is left with little choice. Honor dictates that he must fight Don Gomes. If his father is dishonored, then he too is dishonored. And honor, in this play and during this time, was more important than love. For if Rodrigue is dishonored, then it follows that he is unworthy of the love of Chimene.