The Song of Roland
Research papers on The Song of Roland epic poem show it was written in France during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The poem describes events that happened several centuries earlier, during the reign of Charlemagne. This research paper will explore the dramatic texture of The Song of Roland by examining the epic convention of the "best buddy" or friends who played a major role in the hero's dramatic development. The research paper will compare Roland's relationship to Oliver, to the Beowulf's absence of a "best buddy," as well as to the experiences of heroes and their best friends in Homer's Iliad and the Epic of Gilgamesh. This discussion will demonstrate that the inclusion of a best buddy in The Song of Roland and other epics allows for dramatic relationships that lead to the hero's self-realization.
In The Song of Roland, the character of Roland is presented as young, bold, wealthy, loyal and quick-tempered. In many ways, it is Roland's bravery and pride that lead him to fail as a commander, and later redeem himself. However, this poem would have been much different if Roland was a solitary, chivalrous figure. Instead, Roland has Oliver, his best friend, whose presence allows for dramatic development that would not be possible without this relationship.