The Song of Roland is from the MODG 11th Grade Medieval European History and Literature Booklist.
Written about the tragic story of Roland, an eighth-century French knight during Charlemagne’s reign, this nearly 1000-year-old epic French poem depicts eternal truths about human nature. While battling the Moors in Spain, the rear guard of Charlamagne’s army led by Count Roland is betrayed and ambushed. Hopelessly outnumbered, Roland ferociously defends the French rearguard alongside his loyal friend, Oliver. This beautifully written two-hundred stanza work rewards the reader with a thought-provoking story concerning friendship, loyalty, betrayal, revenge, and much more. Roland is a complicated and noble character, and students will benefit from discussing and pondering his decisions, actions, and thoughts. Reading parts of this bloody and heart-wrenching poem out loud can help one appreciate its beauty and significance.
Recommended by Peter Lyons, Office Staff & MODG Alumnus