In The Cid, how could we describe the relationship with the characters and the Christian society in Spain?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You might like to answer this question by thinking about the way in which notions of chivalry and honour are brought into conflict with the court of the King. The way in which these two forces are shown to be in conflict can be demonstrated through one specific incident, which is when Don Gomes differs with the King about the tutor he has chosen for his son. The ensuing confrontation between a traditional sense and understanding of chivalry and the new totalitarian power of the court demonstrates clearly the kind of relationship that the key characters in this text have with the Christian society of which they are a part. Let us remember that in spite of the valour of Don Gomes, and the way that he has won so many victories in battle to ensure the survival of the Spanish kingdom, he is rebuked for believing he is more powerful than his king.

Such examples demonstrate that chivalry is fast becoming an outmoded concept in the face of the authority and power of the king, and the characters have to realise this and act accordingly. We see this conflict again when Chimene goes to the king and asks him to use his power to punish the murderer of her father. The king is forced to balance chivalry and his own power when he decides how to respond in this situation.


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