Does "The Song of Roland" Show Any Christian Ideals?

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Essay for Honors.

Christian ideals present in “The Song of Roland” include: selflessness, practicing good judgment, and to be humility. These are significant because these ideals promote peace and good will among people in accordance with the purposes of God. In Christianity, Christians are to do nothing through selfish ambition because Christians are to develop a lifestyle of service and selflessness. Christians are not supposed to be selfish and are not supposed to think only of their reputation. They are supposed to count others more significant than themselves. In the beginning of the story, Oliver asks Roland to blow the horn but, “Roland refuses, saying that he will lose his reputation and bring shame upon the French if he calls for help” (p. 608). Roland was being selfish and thought only of keeping his reputation safe instead of thinking of the safety of his men. He thought his reputation was more important than the lives of his men. Later in the story, Roland manages to think of them and prays to God for his peers to be sent to Paradise. In Christianity, Christians should bypass their own selfish desires to make good decisions. In the text, Roland asks Oliver why he is so angry with him. Oliver says: “Companion, it is your doing. I will tell you what makes a vassal good: it is judgment, it is never madness; restraint is worth more than the raw nerve of a fool. Frenchmen are dead because of your wildness” (p. 610). Oliver means that Roland should have used judgment, which is the ability to make good decisions about what should be done, rather than madness, a behavior of thinking that is very foolish and dangerous. When he said, “restraint is worth more than the raw nerve of a fool”, he means that it is better to control yourself than to charge into situations without thinking and to know when to act and when to walk away. Since Roland made a rash decision, many Frenchmen were killed. Living with humility is never thinking they are more important than others, and not being arrogant. Humility is the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people. Oliver said: “When I urged it, friend, you did not think it right” (p. 610). Roland had refused to blow the horn because he thought it would ruin his reputation if he called for help. Roland was being arrogant and thinking only for himself. Roland did think of his men when he was near death. He prayed to God for his peers so that his men could be taken to Paradise. By the time he decided that he should blow the olifant, it was too late. Lastly, Christian ideals found in “The Song of Roland” are: selflessness, practicing good judgment, and humility. Christian ideals present in “The Song of Roland” show that a Christian should be selfless, count others more significant than themselves, practice good judgment, live by humility, never think they are more important than others, and never be arrogant. Selflessness is important because it makes you a better person by putting others before yourself. It is an important key to marriage, friendship, and relationships. It is also an essential key to happiness and fulfillment. Good judgment is important because it is vital for all leaders and your decisions are important because they can affect others. Humility is important because it gives you a teachable spirit that makes everything easier. So do we follow in the steps of the rash Count Roland, or do we follow in the steps of the wise Christians? That is a choice I leave to you.

Submitted: September 08, 2015

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