Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar

Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar - Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar El Cid THE...

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Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, El Cid THE ACCOUNT The "Poema del Cid" recounts the fictionalized adventures of Rodrigo Diaz, an eleventh-century Castilian who conquered much of Islamic Spain. Many of the events in the poem are historically accurate, but licenses have been taken by the poet, generally to allow more opportunities for the Cid to prove his valor and loyalty to King Alfonso. In fact, throughout the entire poem, the Cid is portrayed as an exemplary hero and vassal; he is also an ideal lord himself. The poet has created an ideal within the historical context of eleventh- or twelfth- century Spain. The Cid is exiled because his enemies have turned King Alfonso against him. This, according to custom, gives Rodrigo the right to earn a living for himself and his followers, to claim authority over whatever territory he conquers, and even to wage war against his former lord. Essentially, by exiling him, Alfonso has relieved him of his obligations as a vassal. These obligations, much like those of the characters in _La Chanson de Roland,_ revolve around fidelity, loyalty, and support. The Cid continues to act as a superbly successful vassal, sending Alfonso rich spoils from his conquered territories and humbling himself through his messengers. When restored to the king's favor, he defers to Alfonso's wishes, even when they conflict with his own, as in the case of his daughters' marriages. Central to the feudal system is the fact that vassals of a lord often have vassals themselves. The Cid is presented as being an ideal lord as well, which seems to balance the humility he shows to Alfonso. He is generous to his followers, shows them respect, and accepts their counsel. Perhaps most importantly, he allows his vassals to serve him honorably. He often sends Minaya as a messenger, and the latter fulfills his duty much as Rodrigo obliges Alfonso. At the trial of the heirs of Carrion, who have dishonored and injured the Cid's daughters, and after the family of Carrion has made material restitution to the Cid, he suggests to his vassals that they should denounce the champions of the Carrion family. He then leaves, allowing his vassals the opportunity to distinguish themselves by fighting for their lord's honor. This of course does not mean that the Cid is a coward. In fact, his bravery is legendary. However, he has achieved fame and honor, and allows his vassals to do the same. Minaya often asks for the distinction of leading a second wing of the attack in battle and is always allowed to do so. The Cid's willingness to accept these proposals does honor to Minaya by allowing him to place himself in a position to gain glory, and Minaya's eagerness to place himself in the thick of the battle does honor to the Cid since Minaya has absolutely no doubt that his lord will come to his aid should he get himself into too much trouble to handle alone.
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