1 Jul 2022


Characteristic of an Ideal Knight: Song of Roland

Format: Chicago

Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 353

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The poem Song of Roland was written based on the battle between Frankish and Muslim armies during the reign of King Charlemagne. Roland was a knight serving the Army of Frankish during the war. The poem is founded on the theme of the qualities and characteristics that a knight or a leader was supposed to possess. 

According to the song, it was crucial for a knight to be strong, loyalty, compassion, religious, brave, well-spoken and charismatic. Roland demonstrated loyalty to the king during his battle preparation evidence from the poem states that Roland said, “a man is supposed to suffer on behalf of his lord, he should persevere hardships like cold and heat, lose if the situation calls for it and even die if it comes to that 1 .” (Song of Roland p. 86) 

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The Knights were also supposed to be religious; it was required of them to respect the Christian laws. Roland demonstrated his faith when he questioned whether or not to destroy his olphant. Roland felt that olphant was a symbol of weakness, he sought strength from his faith as stated in the poem he prayed, and he requested God to protect him his family and his country France 1 (Song of Roland p. 84). 

The knights were supposed to be brave; it earned them worthiness and reputation. In one occasion Roland had chosen to fight on his own instead of waiting for backup. The poem states that Roland prayed that ‘God should give him the strength to fight for his country and die an honorable death rather than let his country be disgraced, he felt that this would earn him admiration from his king’(Song of Roland p. 85). 

Roland portrayed compassionate as required of him as a knight when he wept for fellow soldiers lost in the war. He prayed for Gods mercy to be bestowed among them in heaven (Song of Roland p. 108). 1 

From the above facts it is clear that, Feudalism was demonstrated among the Knights of King Charlemagne through compassion, loyalty, religion and bravery. The poem also created a foundation that fostered a strong relation between the knights and their lord. These attributes made it possible for the existence of a strong social and feudal political system. 


Halsall, P. (1998). The song of Roland, translated by John O’Hagan. Fordham University. Retrieved November 29, 2016 from http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/basis/roland-ohag.asp 

1 Halsall, P. (1998). The song of Roland, translated by John O’Hagan. Fordham University. Retrieved November 29, 2016 from http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/basis/roland-ohag.asp 

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