The Song of Roland Essay

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Below, Duggan provides an historical overview of the beginnings of French literature in the chansons de geste, or "songs of great deeds," the great epic poems of which The Song of Roland is the "acknowledged masterpiece of the genre." He notes the origins of this form in oral, or recited, poetry, and notes that these works were often based on actual events and individuals. Duggan discusses the way that epic poems were usedpropagandistically, to glorify national heroes, to find historical precedence for current events, and to popularize specific social, political, or religious points of view. Duggan comments that The Song contributed to the mindset that let to the Crusades and served as a ' foundation myth" about the beginnings of French nationalism.

When Pope Urban II preached the First Crusade to the Orient in 1095 at Clermont, the vernacular literature of France consisted of epic poems (chansons de geste...

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This section contains 2,810 words
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Buy The Song of Roland Study Guide
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The Song of Roland from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.