The Poem of the Cid is a story of a hero based in medieval Spain. During this time period much of everyday living was distinguished by honor roles. Throughout this paper I will write roles honor played in this society, and the effect it had on the expectations of men and women in medieval society. I will end with ways in bringing dishonor.
The Cid was an ideal Lord. He was generous to his followers, showed them respect, and took acceptance of their council. He was loyal almost to a fault. He brought honor to himself by giving honor to his Lord, King Alfonso. Alfonso who was the opposite of the Cid, he did not know how to let his vassals bring him honor. The King often believed the enemies of the Cid therefore not trusting him. Enemies misled the King, which later dealt the banishment of the Cid. After he was banished from his home never did he hire himself to the Moors as a mercenary. The Cid continued to gain much territory and many riches for the king who exiled him, King Alfonso. In doing this he hoped to regain the acceptance of his king.
The Cid brought honor to himself and his king by winning in battle. A measurement of honor could be assembled on the number of victories along with the booty that had been collected. An example of this is shown in the battle against Count Ramon. After accomplishing this victory The Cid gained possession of Colada, a sword worth many marks in silver. Written on page 75, This was a victorious battle which brought honour to the Cid. He accomplished a defeat towards Count Ramon, taking him prisoner and acquiring a valuable treasure both honoring him.
Women share in their mens honor brought by fighting and victory. However in this medieval society the woman was to honor and respect the man, it was expected of them. A wife could show respect to her husband by kneeling and giving praise to the man on return from a battle. This is shown on page 115 when the Cid is greeted by his wife and daughters in a homecoming, May you live long to guard and protect us! This shows us that honor was gender based.
It seemed to me that honor also could be brought to a family through marriages. If married into wealth or respected persons honor could be given to both families. On page 121 the Infantes of Carrion showed respect and honor towards the Cid and his family by addressing the king for the Cids daughters hands in marriage. The Cid agreed because the king thought highly of the idea. Therefore they were wed.
Dishonor may be brought upon a man if he fails to protect his women. This is what the Infantes of Carrion thought would be brought to the Cid if they beat his daughters. These cowards failed to see that dishonor should only have been brought to them because responsibility passes and lies with the husband. Other ways to dishonor oneself would be to be exiled as the Cid was earlier, too lose in battle or to betray your lord. All of these things would lose honor.
Through this writing I believe to have covered the roles honor played, the expectations it gave men and women, and also ways that could bring dishonor to one or ones family.
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