Don Rodrigue, the Cid, the leading warrior in the cause of the king of Spain against the Moors. He is faced with the major conflict of the drama: his filial obligation to vindicate the honor of his father, who has been insulted by Don Gomès, against his love for Don Gomès’s daughter, Chimène. Rodrigue is brave, the fiercest and most valiant soldier in the kingdom. His love for Chimène, on the other hand, shows his gentle nature. When he is confronted with his conflict between love and honor, between personal happiness with Chimène and preservation of his family honor at the cost of his love, he chooses honor. After he has killed Chimène’s father, Rodrigue offers himself as a sacrifice to Chimène’s vengeance. By the end of the drama, he has defeated the Moorish army, has fought a duel, and has received the king’s permission to wed Chimène.
Chimène (shee-MEHN), Rodrigue’s lover, the daughter of Don Gomès, who insulted the honor of Rodrigue’s father. Like her lover, she endures the main conflict of the drama. Her love for Rodrigue clashes with her duty as a daughter of Don Gomès to seek revenge on his killer. Although she loves Rodrigue deeply, she must subdue that emotion and act as reason dictates and the social code demands. That code requires that she hate Rodrigue and pursue a means to seek his death. Thus, she defiantly holds love at bay. Like Rodrigue, she gives up her personal happiness for the cause of honor and filial responsibility. She pleads with the king to arrange a duel between Rodrigue and Don Sanche, a young knight who loves her. Hoping that the young knight will kill...
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