Commentary on The Poem of the Cid Essay

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Commentary on The Poem of the Cid Poetry played a vital role in the dissemination of information during the Crusade period. It provided a compact, easily memorized way of spreading news in a time bereft of the benefit of mass printing. According to Michael Routledge, who penned a chapter on Crusade songs and poetry in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades, poetry was not only a way of recording and spreading news of current events, but also served to record and extoll the virtues and values of the ruling Medieval aristocracy. These values included commitment to one's lord, and an acceptance of the feudal duties of auxilium (armed help in time of attack by enemies) and consilium (counsel and rendering of justice)…show more content…
As a free agent, so to speak, the Cid would have been able to claim authority over whatever territory he conquered, and could even wage war against his former lord (Nelson 1). Instead, the Cid continues to carry out his duties as a vassal in absentia. The Cid's adventures take him deep into the interior of Moorish Spain and yield a multitude of spoils. Throughout the poem, the Cid sends Alfonso a share of these riches, as a token of his loyalty. On three separate occasions, the Cid sends his loyal vassal, the knight Minaya, to deliver horses taken in battle to Alfonso. The horses, eventually totaling 330, serve as a catalyst for the Cid regaining his lord's favor. The first attempt fails, but the second gains the Cid the right to be reunited with his wife and two daughters. The third equine gift, after his conquest of Valencia and subsequent defeat of a Muslim army sent to relieve the city, gains him back his former status. In addition to portraying the Cid as a an exemplar of what a loyal vassal should be, the Poem of the Cid also serves as a guide on how to be a excellent lord. He is generous to his followers and is respectful of their ideas and advice. He trusts the loyal Minaya to act as his intermediary to Alfonso. During the trial to end the Poem, the Cid's vassals offer up a challenge to arms in order to protect his honor (Nelson 1) The University of Kansas's Lynn Nelson sees the Cid's reconciliation gifts as a test of Alfonso's honor. She says the gifts

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