Song of Roland

By: Anonymous

What is an epic?

A story or poem that focuses on heroic characters that act out grand struggles, including battles, wars, and adventures

This poem is considered a great French epic.


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Plot, Characters, Setting, Conflict

  • Plot-the storyline; sequence of events; pushes the story along
  • Character- representations of people in the story, carry out the plot
  • Setting-time and place where the events happen
  • Conflict-struggle between two forces


Two forms of conflict:

  1. Internal Conflict-occurs within a character when he/she is faced with a decision or is not sure of how to proceed.
  2. External Conflict-occurs between two or more character, between a character and nature, a group/society, or an animal.


Oral Tradition

When stories are told orally, they are passed down verbally among generations. They are eventually recorded.



Important Facts about Song of Roland

  • Song of Roland is believed to have been passed down verbally for a long time by singers, musicians, etc. who sang/recited poetry.
  • It was later written down and became the story we read now.
  • Each time that a story was told, it changed. (Think about the telephone game.)
  • This story is probably different from the original one.



Some things you need to know:

  • You will meet the two main characters: Oliver & Rollanz
  • They are good leaders but don't always share the same opinion.
  • There is a great battle.
  • Oliver doesn't think the king made a good decision placing them in this battle.
  • Rollanz tells Oliver not to speak badly of the king.
  • Oliver describes the setting: lush hillsides where he sees the approaching enemy troops.
  • External Conflict: entering a violent battle that they may not win
  • They know that it is worse to not face the enemy than to loose to them.



Don't Forget....

  • Read the entire lesson.
  • Complete any review activities provided--especially vocabulary.
  • Complete the assessment.
  • Contact your teacher if you need more help!