Chanson de Roland Study Guide

“Chanson de Roland” Study Guide


Theme:  The life of a _________________ has no _______________ unless it is sanctified by ________________ to God and ________ .


  1. Roland is the epic hero of which nation?


  1. Roland is related to nobility.  He is the nephew of whom?


  1. According to Roland’s legend, no foreigner can bring about Roland’s demise.  Only another Frenchman could do that.  Who betrays Roland?


  1. Italy liked the Roland story so much, they adopted the story and gave their hero a different name.  What is it?


  1. What is Roland’s major weakness?


  1. 'Remember me, my lady, for we shall meet again” - words that start a great romance.  Whose romance?


  1. Who is Alda’s brother?


  1. Why does Roland allow Oliver to go unharmed after a chase near the city’s walls/


  1. Which two knights are chosen to battle each other instead of two entire armies fighting?


  1. What is the name of Roland’s sword?


  1. What is the name of Oliver’s sword?


  1. How would you describe the man-to-man combat between Roland and Oliver?


  1. Roland asks Oliver what question during a break in the combat?


  1. How does the combat between the two men end?  How do the two men view each other?


  1. How gets engaged to be married?


  1. Roland and Oliver join with Emperor Charlemagne to fight the __________________ in ____________________.


  1. Who is Marsile?  What does he promise?


  1. Who is extremely jealous of Roland, in fact, hates him?


  1. Ganelon and Roland give Charlemagne conflicting advice about Marsile.  What is it?


  1. Who is sent as a messenger to Marsile?


  1. How do the Saracens manipulate Ganelon?  He ends up becoming a what to the French?


  1. Will Ganelon be paid for his treachery?  Explain.
  2. Ganelon arranges for Roland and Charlemagne’s best knights to form which part of the marching army?


  1. Where does Ganelon ride in relation to the king (Charlemagne)?


  1. What assurances does Ganelon give the king?


  1. What happens to Roland, Oliver, and the rear guard?


  1. Explain the geography of Roncesvalles.


  1. Oliver sees the Saracens about to ambush them and yells for Roland to do what?


  1. What is “Olifant” ?


  1. Why does Roland first refuse to blow the horn?


  1. How many times does Oliver plead with Roland to sound Olifant?


  1. Archbishop Turpin, the warrior-priest, rides among the French soldiers and tells them what?


  1. Roland suspects a French betrayer.  Who?


  1. Why does Roland yell, “Montjoy!”


  1. Archbishop Turpin, a bit of a legend himself, slays ___________ Saracens with his own sword in the name of the Lord.


  1. Oliver tells Roland to NOT blow the horn after they are wounded.  Why?


  1. Why does Turpin tell Roland to go ahead and sound Olifant?


  1. How many miles away is Charlemagne at this point?


  1. What does Charlemagne do when he hears Olifant?


  1. Who are the last three French knights left living?


  1. How is Oliver killed?  Was the killer courageous or a cowardly killer?


  1. How does Turpin die?


  1. What happen to Olifant?


  1. What does Roland hold up to heaven and to God?

45.What does Roland cover with his body just before he dies?

46.What happens to Alda when she hears the news of Roland’s death?

47.  How does Ganelon die?      


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