Good quotes from El Cantar del Mio Cid illustrate the character of El Cid and the themes of the poem, like honor, loyalty, and the relationship between the king and El Cid.
El Cid restores his honor to the King of Valencia by sending back spoils of his war with Moorish communities in Spain. This demonstrates that a man can gain honor through generosity rather than greed. The king says,
Tis over early for one banished, without graceIn his lord's sight, to receive it at the end of three week's space.But since 'tis Moorish plunder to take it I consent.That the Cid has taken such a spoil, I am full well content.Beyond all this Minaya thine exemption I accord,For all thy lands and honors are unto thee restored.Go and come! Henceforth my favor I grant to thee once more.But to thee I say nothing of the Cid Campeador.
This quote represents a turning point for El Cid. He's able to return home and begin his normal life again as a wealthy and influential man.
When King Alfonso requests that El Cid's daughters marry the Heirs of Carrion, El Cid doesn't like the idea. However, he decides to consent:
"Whate'er shall be your pleasure, that is it we shall say."Said the Cid: "The Heirs of Carrion, of a great line are they,And they are proud exceeding, and their favor fair at court.Yet ill doth such a marriage with my desire coport.But since it is his pleasure that is of more worth than we,Let us talk thereof a little, but secret let us be.May the Lord God in Heaven accord us as is best."
This demonstrates both the intelligence and loyalty of El Cid. Though he himself believes the men are no good despite their prime position and noble titles, he gives in to the king's request. He is a loyal subject and believes that the desires of the king eclipse his own.
When El Cid's daughters are given in marriage to the Heirs of Carrion, it seems like a good thing. Unfortunately, the men are dishonorable and abuse the women. When this is discovered, El Cid requests that the king undo the marriages and give the women to the Kings of Navarre and Aragon instead. Because of El Cid's honor and bravery, King Alfonso is happy to grant what he requests. It says:
"A boon, Oh King Alfonso, my sovran lord thou art.For this to the Creator very thankful is my heart,Since both Navarre and Aragon have made request so high.Thou didst give to wed my daughters before. It was not I.Here then behold my daughters, the twain are in thine hand.With them I will do nothing, except at thy command."The King rose up. For silence in the court the word he gave:"I beg it of thee, Campeador, the true Cid and the brave, That hereto thou yield agreement. I will...
grant the thing this day:And it shall be consented in open court straightway,For so will grow thy glory and shine honor and thy lands."
The women's ex-husbands are stripped of their titles and wealth for their actions. Again, the poem demonstrates that acting in a dishonorable way has negative consequences.