HIST 150 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Spain In The Middle Ages, Penguin Classics, Binary Opposition

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1. 9-21-16
NOTES 9-21-16
Midterm October 7th!!
Essay Questions for Midterm over The Song of the Cid
1. In the introduction the Penguin Classic edition of The Song of the Cid, María Rosa
Menocal stated that “while many, perhaps most, either in Spain or abroad, are likely to
say that the Cid is a hero because of his role in reclaiming Christian lands, an attentive
reading of the poem reveal that this is scarcely an issue at all, and that while our hero
may be a pious Christian he is not driven by anything like religious zeal in his battles and
conquests. Both the Cid and his poem have other preoccupations, and other problems to
solve.” What are Cid’s and the poem concerning his life’s other preoccupations?
oFocus on:
What reasons Cid is doing things?
2. Describe an inter-religious encounter between a Christian(s) and a Muslim(s) contained
in The Song of the Cid. What do these encounters tell us about interfaith relations during
the Medieval period that contradicts the binary opposition that the Reconquista implied?
3. The Song of the Cid is a fictionalized description of Rodrigo Diaz’s life. Try to separate
the fact from the fiction. Give three examples of events where you believe the biography
has been embellished to emphasize Cid’s heroism. What do these embellishments tell
historians about ideals of masculinity in eleventh century (or later) Spain?
4. Procopius described Justinian and Theodora as blood-thirsty, ambitious, rapacious
plunderers. This same description could be applied to El Cid, but these qualities are seen
as positive for the Castillian hero. Explain why these dubious qualities are seen as heroic
in the context of Cid’s life story.
The Song of the Cid
oRodrigo Diaz (~1050-1099)
oLiterature and/or history
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