A literary analysis of the epic the song of roland

Film as a narrative genre F1. There are three common terms referring to our subject:

A literary analysis of the epic the song of roland

After the formative period of the Vedic age, literature moved in several different directions. The close of the Vedic period was one of great cultural renewal, with the founding of the new monastic religions of Buddhism and Jainism… General characteristics An epic may deal with such various subjects as mythsheroic legendshistories, edifying religious tales, animal stories, or A literary analysis of the epic the song of roland or moral theories.

Epic poetry has been and continues to be used by peoples all over the world to transmit their traditions from one generation to another, without the aid of writing.

These traditions frequently consist of legendary narratives about the glorious deeds of their national heroes. Such ages have been experienced by many nations, usually at a stage of development in which they have had to struggle for a national identity. This effort, combined with such other conditions as an adequate material culture and a sufficiently productive economy, tend to produce a society dominated by a powerful and warlike nobility, constantly occupied with martial activities, whose individual members seek, above all, everlasting fame for themselves and for their lineages.

Uses of the epic The main function of poetry in heroic-age society appears to be to stir the spirit of the warriors to heroic actions by praising their exploits and those of their illustrious ancestors, by assuring a long and glorious recollection of their fame, and by supplying them with models of ideal heroic behaviour.

One of the favourite pastimes of the nobility in heroic ages in different times and places has been to gather in banquet halls to hear heroic songs, in praise of famous deeds sung by professional singers as well as by the warriors themselves.

A literary analysis of the epic the song of roland

Heroic songs also were often sung before a battle, and such recitations had tremendous effect on the morale of the combatants. Among the Fulani Fulbe people in the Sudan, for instance, whose epic poetry has been recorded, a nobleman customarily set out in quest of adventures accompanied by a singer mabowho also served as his shield bearer.

The singer was thus the witness of the heroic deeds of his lord, which he celebrated in an epic poem called baudi. The aristocratic warriors of the heroic ages were thus members of an illustrious family, a link in a long chain of glorious heroes.

And the chain could snap if the warrior failed to preserve the honour of the family, whereas, by earning fame through his own heroism, he could give it new lustre. Epic traditions were to a large extent the traditions of the aristocratic families: The passing of a heroic age does not necessarily mean the end of its heroic oral poetry.

An oral epic tradition usually continues for as long as the nation remains largely illiterate. Usually it is after the heroic age has passed that the narratives about its legendary heroes are fully elaborated. Even when the nobility that originally created the heroic epic perishes or loses interest, the old songs can persist as entertainments among the people.

Court singers, then, are replaced by popular singers, who recite at public gatherings. This popular tradition, however, must be distinguished from a tradition that still forms an integral part of the culture of a nobility.

For when a heroic epic loses its contact with the banquet halls of the princes and noblemen, it cannot preserve for long its power of renewal. Soon it enters what has been called the reproductive stage in the life cycle of an oral tradition, in which the bards become noncreative reproducers of songs learned from older singers.

Popular oral singers, like the guslari of the Balkans, no doubt vary their songs to a certain extent each time they recite them, but they do so mainly by transposing language and minor episodes from one acquired song to another.

Such variations must not be confounded with the real enrichment of the tradition by succeeding generations of genuine oral poets of the creative stage. The spread of literacy, which has a disastrous effect on the oral singer, brings about a quick corruption of the tradition. At this degenerate stage, the oral epic soon dies out if it is not written down or recorded.

The ancient Greek epic exemplifies the cycle of an oral tradition. Originating in the late Mycenaean period, the Greek epic outlasted the downfall of the typically heroic-age culture c. After Homer, the activity of the aoidoiwho sang their own epic songs at the courts of the nobility, slowly declined.

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During the first half of the 7th century, the aoidoi produced such new poems as those of Hesiod and some of the earlier poems of what was to become known as the Epic Cycle. It seems probable that these rhapsodes, who played a crucial role in the transmission of the Homeric epic, were using some sort of written aids to memory before Homeric recitations were adopted in 6th-century Athens as part of the Panathenaic festivals held each year in honour of the goddess Athena.

Verbal formulas To compose and to memorize long narrative poems like the Iliad and the Odyssey, oral poets used a highly elaborate technical language with a large store of traditional verbal formulas, which could describe recurring ideas and situations in ways that suited the requirements of metre.

So long as an oral epic tradition remains in its creative period, its language will be continually refined by each generation of poets in opposite directions, refinements that are called scope and economy. Scope is the addition of new phrases to express a larger number of recurrent concepts in varying metrical values fitting the possible positions in a verse.

Economy is the elimination of redundancies that arise as gifted poets invent new set phrases that duplicate, both in a general sense and in metrical value, the formulas that already exist in the traditional stock.

Nowhere has this refinement proceeded any nearer to perfection than in the language of the Homeric epic. As has been shown by statistical analysis, it exhibits a remarkable efficiencyboth in the rareness of unnecessarily duplicative variants and in the coverage of each common concept by the metrical alternatives useful in the composition of the six-foot metric line the Greeks used for epic poetry.

Finally, some of the typical scenes in the heroic life, such as the preparation of a meal or sacrifice or the launching or beaching of a ship, contain set descriptions comprising several lines that are used by rote each time the events are narrated.

This highly formalized language was elaborated by generations of oral poets to minimize the conscious effort needed to compose new poems and memorize existing ones. Because of it, an exceptionally gifted aoidos, working just prior to the corruption of the genrecould orally create long and finely structured poems like the Iliad and the Odyssey, and those poems could then be transmitted accurately by the following generations of rhapsodes until complete written texts were produced.

Bases Oral heroic poetry, at its origin, usually deals with outstanding deeds of kings and warriors who lived in the heroic age of the nation.


Since the primary function of this poetry is to educate rather than to record, however, the personages are necessarily transformed into ideal heroes and their acts into ideal heroic deeds that conform to mythological or ideological patterns.

Some of these patterns are archetypes found all over the world, while others are peculiar to a specific nation or culture.The Song of Roland (French: La Chanson de Roland) is an epic poem (Chanson de geste) along with The Poem of the Cid, one of the most outstanding examples of the chanson de geste, a literary form that flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries and celebrated legendary deeds.

Manuscripts and dating Author: John O'Hagan. Analysis Of Walt Whitman 's ' Song Of Myself - Walt Whitman is considered the foremost poet of American democracy of his time. Not only did he fully embrace it, but he believed that American democracy was more than a political system, but a way of life (Casale 48).

A literary analysis of the epic the song of roland

🔥Citing and more! Add citations directly into your paper, Check for unintentional plagiarism and check for writing mistakes. "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" is a long poem in the form of an elegy written by American poet Walt Whitman (–) in The poem, written in free verse in lines, uses many of the literary techniques associated with the pastoral ashio-midori.com was written in the summer of during a period of profound national mourning in the aftermath of the assassination of President.

Epic: Epic, long narrative poem recounting heroic deeds, although the term has also been loosely used to describe novels, such as Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and motion pictures, such as Sergey Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible.

In literary usage, the term encompasses both . The Song of Roland Analysis. Homework Help Literary Style (Epics for Students) One theme the two epic poems The Song of Roland and Nibelungenlied, from the Middle Ages, share in common is.

SparkNotes: Song of Roland