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Analysis of Roland's Death
Oliver, the close pal of Roland, presents Roland’s previous behavior as prideful. King Charlemagne asks for a volunteer to deliver the message to Marsile, the Muslim emir, to which “Roland replies: ‘I am prepared to go.’/ ‘You surely will not,’ stated Count Oliver, / ‘Your temperament is most hostile and fierce, / I am afraid you might pick a quarrel / If the king wishes, I am prepared to go’” (254-258). In this section, Oliver tells Roland of how his temperament would get him in problems if the king had been to send him to Marsile. Roland’s temperament is prideful by always discovering a way to start off a fight. Roland wanting to “pick a quarrel” is the outcome of him often believing he is right, displaying his pride. Oliver warns his greatest pal about his temperament, saying that it could lead to a squabble which would lead to a battle. If Roland’s temperament is described becoming “hostile” and “fierce”, it will not provide the stability that an army requirements to win a battle. In a way, Oliver not only is providing a glimpse into the previous, saying it is Roland’s standard nature to be prideful, but also is foreshadowing Roland dying by result of his prideful temperament. Oliver, a very close buddy of Roland, offers a history of Roland’s behavior, saying it would not be unlikely for him to stir up difficulty out of his own pride. Also, Roland himself shows this by stirring up difficulty in battle by fighting for himself.
The next point is that Roland fights with only his intentions in thoughts, not focusing on the massive picture. Oliver suggests to Roland that he must blow the oliphant to signal Charlemagne to help in battle against the overwhelming Muslim force coming up upon them. But then, “Roland replies: ‘That would be an act of folly / Throughout the fair land of France I must lose my very good name / Straightway I shall strike fantastic blows with Durendal / Correct up to its golden hilt the blade will run with blood. / These treacherous pagans will rue the day they came to this pass. / I swear to you, they are all condemned to death’” (1053-1058). In this quote, Roland is refusing to blow the horn since it will make his reputation go down in the eyes of all the Franks. He is so focused on his excellent reputation, he completely misses the magnitude of the Muslim army. Instead of focusing on the outcome of the battle, he focuses on creating confident that he looks excellent to others back home. He does not show even the slightest consideration for his soldiers’ lives, amplifying his personal abilities in the battle. His narrow-minded frame of the battle puts his men’s lives on the line, which leads to devastating consequences in the finish.
Roland’s prideful actions lead him to his imminent downfall in battle. Just as the tide turns on the battlefield and the Franks start to lose guys left and appropriate, Oliver gives his honest opinion of Roland’s decision to not blow the oliphant. “For a accurate vassal’s act, in its wisdom, avoids folly / Caution is far better than fantastic zeal. / Franks are dead because of your recklessness / Charles will never ever again get our service. / If you had heeded me, my lord would now be right here / We ought to have fought this battle and won it. / Roland, we can only rue your prowess” (1724-1731). It was as well late for Roland to contact for help considering that Charlemagne could not come to their aid prior to the battle ends. According to Oliver, Roland putting his army in a weak position by not calling for assist was extremely reckless. Roland is responsible for the lives of his guys that died as a result of the battle. Roland is not in a position to sacrifice his pride and ego for the safety of his guys, but waits till all hope was lost in order to attempt to adjust the battle.The consequence of Roland’s action shows his prideful intent. Roland’s characteristic flaw is his pride, consistent ahead of the poem begins up to his death. Oliver tells of Roland’s pride from a time earlier than a poem and warning him to be on the watch so that his pride will not lead to his death.
Roland’s pride is not a characteristic he lately picks up, but rather component of his character. By fighting with his own intentions in thoughts and not blowing the oliphant, he proves Oliver’s point by performing this prideful action. The quite same action causes him to drop the battle and his own life. Therefore, Roland displays self pride throughout the poem which affects his decision to not blow the horn, concluding with his defeat in battle and his personal demise.
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