El Cid Essay

Marcel Charles Andrade
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In the following excerpt, Menendez Pidal examines the similarities and differences between the historic Cid and the title character of the epic. He also comments on the historical and literary contributions of both figures.

As an epic hero the Cid stands in a class by himself. History has little or nothing to say about the protagonists of the Greek, Germanic or French epics. From the ruins revealed by learned excavators we know that the Trojan War was an event that actually took place at Troy, so that the excavations confirm and illustrate the veracity of Homeric poetry. But we shall never know anything about Achilles, nor, for that matter, about Siegfried, whom we can only suspect to have been an historic personage, as Giinther, the King of Burgundy, at whose Court Knemhild's husband loved and died, undoubtedly was. The historians of Charlemagne assure us that Roland, Count of...

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This section contains 6,882 words
(approx. 18 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the El Cid Study Guide
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Epics for Students
El Cid from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.