Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
The Cid (seed), or Ruy Díaz (rrewee DEE-ahs), the lord of Bivar. Banished from Christian Spain by Alfonso VI of Castile, he enters, with a company of his vassals, on a series of heroic exploits designed to impress the king and cause him to revoke the edict of banishment. The royal favor is finally won, but only after the Cid becomes powerful enough to be a threat to the throne. A period of happiness and peace lasts until the Cid is forced to subdue his treacherous sons-in-law, Diego and Fernando, princes of Carrion. When the princes are banished, the Cid is free to marry his daughters to the rulers of Aragón and Navarre. He rejoices to count among his family two kings of Spain, and he finally dies in peace as lord of Valencia.
Alfonso VI (ahl-FOHN-soh), the king of León. He banishes the Cid from Christian Spain, then reinstates the hero when his growing power becomes a threat to the throne.
Doña Elvira (ehl-VEE-rah) and
Doña Sol (sohl), the Cid’s daughters, who are married to Diego and Fernando, princes of Carrion, by whom the noble ladies are robbed and beaten. They are finally married to the kings of Aragón and Navarre.
Diego (dee-A-goh) and...
(The entire section is 473 words.)
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Complete Character Analysis
Rodrigo (Ruy) Díaz de Vivar
Characters Bibliography (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Chasca, Edmund de. The Poem of the Cid. Boston: Twayne, 1976. The best place to begin for a general literary and historical account of the poem. Includes a discussion of medieval epic poetry, the historicity of Poem of the Cid, use of humor, epic formulas, and speculation on authorship.
Fletcher, Richard A. The Quest for the Cid. New York: Random House, 1990. A historical account of the period 711-1516, providing a valuable discussion of the cultural background to El Cid. Also contains an extensive bibliography.
Matulka, Barbara. The Cid as a Courtly Hero. New York: Columbia University, Institute of French Studies, 1928. Explores the figure of the Cid from his appearance in medieval epic through Corneille’s treatment in The Cid (1636). Short, useful account of such literary motifs as the love-test, voluntary death, and the Cid’s sword.
Menéndez Pidal, Ramón. The Cid and His Spain. Translated by Harold Sunderland. London: John Murray, 1934. A detailed discussion of El Cid and its background by the author of the poem’s most influential critical edition. Includes attention to the struggle for Valencia, the invasion (and subsequent repulsion) of the Almoravides, the court of the Cid, and the process by which the historical figure of the Cid was transformed into a legend.
Smith, Colin. The Making of the “Poema de mío Cid.” Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1983. Claims that Poem of the Cid was an experimental work, the first epic to be composed in Castilian, and that Per Abad, the figure who is usually regarded as the poem’s copyist, was actually its author.