Literary Analysis

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Literary Analysis: Comparing ‘The Odyssey’ and ‘The Song of Roland’ al Affiliation) Comparing ‘The Odyssey’ and ‘The Song of Roland.’In the article, ‘Homer and the Roland: The shared Formula Technique, Part II’ by William Merritt, various aspects are compared between The Odyssey and The Song of Roland. Majorly, the article describes the two types of heroes, the outlawed hero and the law abiding hero. The Song of Roland portrays Roland as a hero. His heroism is based on his loyalty and chivalry to the emperor (Sale, 1993). As such, he duly serves the emperor and motivates others to work towards achieving the commands put forward by the emperor. In his words to Oliver, Roland insists that they are bound to obey the command of their King regardless of any related hardships. In this case, the courage of Roland is evident as he shows no fear in partaking his duty. Roland’s courage is further emphasized through the author’s definition of his character as ‘fierce’. However, Roland’s weakness lies in his superiority to his colleagues as this makes him overconfident. As a result, he does not observe any caution in his actions in relation to those individuals that surround him (Sale, 1993). In addition, Roland does not have a clear foresight and perception. He is unable to ask help whenever required as he believes that such would be a disgrace, to which he prefers death. Nevertheless, even in his death, he remains a great hero. On the other hand, in the poem ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer, a different hero is presented, contrary to Roland. In this case, Odysseus, the hero, does not earn his heroism from obedience to authority, but rather earns it from his actions that involve protection of his reputation and saving of his life (Sale, 1993). As such, he demands honor, an aspect that is depicted by how he highly regards his name. Odysseus’ pride is evident, but he shares self-confidence and persistence as those of Roland. Unlike Roland, who only bases his actions on his confidence and loyalty, Odysseus is highly resourceful and smart (Sale, 1993). ReferenceSale, W. M. (1993). Homer and the Roland: The Shared Formular Technique, Part II. Oral Tradition, 8(2), 381-412.

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