The poet of The Lay of the Cid focuses on loyalty, integrity, and honor. Is there a difference in how the author treats Christians, Moors, and Jews?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In The Lay of the Cid, the author is concerned with the meaning of honor, integrity, and loyalty. In the poem, however, none of the religious groups are upheld as automatically honorable because of their creed. Thus, this not a work of religious disputation or favoritism, but rather an exploration of how the ideals of chivalry can be maintained under the most trying circumstances of war, mistrust, and betrayal. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all come in for criticism. Only when an individual's behavior demonstrates honor, integrity, and loyalty to a standard beyond narrow in-group preferences does it stand out as praiseworthy. Loyalty to one's group is not as meritorious as loyalty to a higher standard of morality that transcends in-group preference, in the moral universe of the poem. In this sense, the idealized morality of the poem would pose at least as much of a challenge to some of the accepted moral standards of the audience as it would conform to them.

The historical context of the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 682 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team