Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Powerful Parallels and Deep Divides: Pluralism in The Poem of the Cid a

Both The Poem of the Cid and The Song of Roland were written in a time period where great new developments were occurring in Europe, but none more crucial than the beginning of the Crusades and the ethnocentric viewpoint they propagated and were propagated by (Quinn). Of great interest is the manner in which both works deal with the nature of pluralism in European history. For the sake of this essay, pluralism will be defined simply as a state of more than one. Both works, written at approximately the same time (1130-1170 for The Song of Roland and approximately 1207 for The Poem of the Cid, as per the book's forewords) have astonishing similarities and stark contrasts, which when put in context are incredibly revealing of their respective author's/culture's attitudes about economic, cultural, and religious pluralism. An often overlooked place to begin evaluating these stories lies in their depictions of economic systems. The Song of Roland depicts a system that is primarily based on the giving of tribute, namely exotic gifts and treasure; clearly shown when Blancandrin counsels Marsilla to achieve peace with Charlemagne by promising him â€Å"bears and lions and dogs, 700 hundred camels and a thousand moulted hawks† (Burgess, page 30). However, it is important to note that the concept of paying with money is not entirely absent from the novel, â€Å"you will have enough gold bezants to pay your mercenaries well† (Burgess, page 33). In The Song of Roland we see our first evidence of a plural economy. The dominant system is the giving of lavish gifts in the form of tribute to one's betters or equals like Marsile to Charlemagne; which is followed by the less important/common payment of money to one's inferiors a la Charlemagne to his mercen... ...rfully with The Poem of the Cid and its multi-cultural and relatively accepting Spanish ideal of â€Å"convivencia† (Kahf) that embraced diversity in its many forms. While both works contain strong similarities due to the proximity of their geographic and temporal origins and the struggles that were occurring there, namely the Crusades; subtle nuances and seemingly minor differences between the two works reveal two very different views on pluralism. Bibliography: Burgess, Glyn S.  The Song of Roland. London, England: Penguin, 1990. Print. Hamilton, Rita, Janet H. Perry, and Ian Michael.  The Poem of the Cid. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984. Print. Quinn, William. "The Crusades 1&2." 8 and 13 March 2012. Lecture. Quinn, William. â€Å"Cantar del mio Cid Campeador.† 3 April 2012. Lecture Kahf, â€Å"Medieval Spain, Competing Narratives.† 27 March 2012. Lecture

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