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Which characters are examples for each aspect of an epic poem in The Song of Roland,...

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smellienellie03 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 13, 2007 at 2:58 PM via web

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Which characters are examples for each aspect of an epic poem in The Song of Roland, including the feature of an epic hero who embodies the ideals off a particular nation or culture, the focus on the struggle for something of value to that culture, and the inclusion of a god/gods who intervene in the affairs of men, often to aid or punish the hero? 

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted May 14, 2007 at 1:02 AM (Answer #1)

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The first characteristic of an epic poem, the hero, has to be Roland. He's known for his bravery, volunteering for the most dangerous assignments.

Charlemagne would represent the second characteristic. He's the leader of the Frankish (French) forces. His purpose in the epic is to fight to regain lands lost to the "infidel", non-Christians.

Gabriel would represent the third characteristic. He is god's emissary and leader of the angels that help the French army. He also leads Roland's soul to Paradise after his death.

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