Second Canto Summary
Third Canto Summary
Chasca, Edmund de. The Poem of the Cid. Boston: Twayne, 1976. Offers an excellent place to begin for a general literary and historical account of the poem. Includes discussion of medieval epic poetry and the historicity of Poem of the Cid as well as examination of the use of humor and epic formulas in the work and speculation on its authorship.
Cowell, Andrew. “Taking an Identity: The Poem of the Cid.” In The Medieval Warrior Aristocracy: Gifts, Violence, Performance, and the Sacred. Rochester, N.Y.: D. S. Brewer, 2007. Examination of Poem of the Cid is part of a larger work that focuses on how medieval epic heroes, like the Cid, reflected society’s concerns about the nature of the warrior elite.
Fletcher, Richard A. The Quest for the Cid. New York: Random House, 1990. Presents a historical account of the period 711-1516, providing a valuable discussion of the cultural background of Poem of the Cid. Includes extensive bibliography.
Matulka, Barbara. The Cid as a Courtly Hero. New York: Institute of French Studies, Columbia University, 1928. Explores the figure of the Cid from his appearance in medieval epics through Pierre Corneille’s treatment in Le Cid (pr., pb. 1637; The Cid, 1637). Provides a short, informative 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. 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.
Montgomery, Thomas. Medieval Spanish Epic: Mythic Roots and Ritual Language. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998. Examines Poem of the Cid and other medieval Spanish epics, describing how they originated in ancient myths about the initiation of young warriors. Places these epics within their cultural and social contexts and analyzes their poetic language.
Smith, Colin. The Making of the “Poema de mio Cid.” New York: 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.