Comparison Between Song Of Roland And Canterbury Tales

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Comparison between Song of Roland and Canterbury Tales

Comparison between Song of Roland and Canterbury Tales


Song of Roland and Canterbury Tales both are considered as great writing pieces of literature. Song of Roland was composed in Old French dialect and resembles a lot to other epic poems of the middle Ages. It is divided into verse paragraphs of different lengths and possesses a powerful deal of expressive features. Canterbury Tales, on the other hand, demonstrates a collection of the stories written by the language of Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales are in the form of a story telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they move from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. This essay provides an account of the way the two literary pieces compared with each other. The social changes and variations in the way of life as highlighted by these artistic pieces are also an important element of this essay.


The two pieces of writing though are written at different time, but still they both highlight the medieval society and its values.

Song of Roland

Story of Roland provides a great account of the life of the medieval societies and the way a turnaround is brought into their living style and standard. It offers the reader a view of medieval society and values. The poem focuses more on the theme of the Lord and vassal relationships making this song an important part of the medieval epic; it highlights the hierarchy of the Middle Ages. The feudal system was prevalent at that time having God at the top. Charlemagne occupies a place under him, and there were succeeding levels of vassals that lie below the king. The king was a direct representative of the Christ (Smith, 2011). The author was biased against the Muslim community.

The style of the literature is one that provides details of the characteristic of good vs. evil themes. The writer considers War as something great and glamorous. The soldiers or the heroes have to pay the excessive cost. However, the villains deserve no empathy or grief. Pure Good was represented by the Franks whereas the evil character was of the Saracens. The wars in the Song of Roland resemble a lot to the Crusades presenting a similar holy mission.

The events in the story are considered by Medieval as historic truths. The narrator of the story does not pretend to be aware of what he is saying, but he implies that he has knowledge of the chronicles that make him assert about a particular situation.

The story presented the quality of life of various classes in a graceful manner. The element of heroism in the poem is on the basis of feudal ideas. The pages character in the poem can either be considered heroic when their evaluation is made on the basis of loyalty. The song presented vassalage as equal to Christianity. Roland fulfills his duties as a Christian and his ultimate lord is ...
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