El Cid, Essay Example

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Essay

El Cid is one of the oldest epic poems in Spanish history that has been preserved throughout the years. It is based on a true story and was set during the period of the “Reconquista”, when Spain was recalled from the Moors. The story began with El Cid’s exile, having been accused with stealing from the King. However, he led battles against the Moors and was able to conquer Valencia, thus gaining back the King’s trust and restoration of his pride and honor. The king then gave the El Cid’s daughters to the Princes of Carrion in marriage. However, the princes proved to be cowards and were humiliated by the men of El Cid. In retaliation, they beat up the daughters of El Cid and left them for dead in the forest. El Cid learns of the incident and asked the King for justice through a duel with the Princes. El Cid became victorious in the duel, thus stripping off the pride and honor of the Princes of Carrion. His daughters were remarried to the Princes of Navarre and Aragon, which paved the way towards the unification of the Spanish people.

Although the story of El Cid is classified as an epic tale, the tone of the story is very much realistic. Unlike most epics wherein the hero usually has superhuman powers and traits, the hero of El Cid is strongly grounded on realistic virtues such as valor and courage. El Cid continuously displayed his military prowess in the story in the various battles he fought and in his duel with the Princes of Carrion. Honor is another main theme in the story as El Cid displayed, by regaining the King’s trust and in avenging his daughters. Aside from the attributes above, qualities such as loyalty, integrity and wisdom make El Cid truly a hero during medieval Spain and made his exploits legendary.

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