Song of Roland

Characters

Principal characters

  • Baligant, emir of Babylon; Marsile enlists his help against Charlemagne.
  • Blancandrin, wise pagan; suggests bribing Charlemagne out of Spain with hostages and gifts, and then suggests dishonouring a promise to allow Marsilla's baptism
  • Bramimonde, Queen of Saragossa; captured and converted by Charlemagne after the city falls
  • Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor; his forces fight the Saracens in Spain.
  • Ganelon, treacherous lord and Roland's stepfather who encourages Marsile to attack the French
  • King Marsilla, Saracen king of Spain; Roland wounds him and he dies of his wound later.
  • Naimon, Charlemagne's trusted adviser.
  • Oliver, Roland's friend; mortally wounded by Margarice. He represents wisdom.
  • Roland, the hero of the Song; nephew of Charlemagne; leads the rear guard of the French forces; bursts his temples by blowing his olifant-horn, wounds from which he eventually dies facing the enemy's land.
  • Turpin, Archbishop of Rheims, represents the force of the Church.

Secondary characters

  • Aude, the fiancée of Roland and Oliver's sister
  • Basan, French baron, murdered while serving as Ambassador of Marsile.
  • Bérengier, one of the twelve paladins killed by Marsile’s troops; kills Estramarin; killed by Grandoyne.
  • Besgun, chief cook of Charlemagne's army; guards Ganelon after Ganelon's treachery is discovered.
  • Geboin, guards the French dead; becomes leader of Charlemagne's 2nd column.
  • Godefroy, standard bearer of Charlemagne; brother of Thierry, Charlemagne’s defender against Pinabel.
  • Grandoyne, fighter on Marsile’s side; son of the Cappadocian King Capuel; kills Gerin, Gerier, Berenger, Guy St. Antoine, and Duke Astorge; killed by Roland.
  • Hamon, joint Commander of Charlemagne's Eighth Division.
  • Lorant, French commander of one of the first divisions against Baligant; killed by Baligant.
  • Milon, guards the French dead while Charlemagne pursues the Saracen forces.
  • Ogier, a Dane who leads the third column in Charlemagne's army against Baligant's forces.
  • Othon, guards the French dead while Charlemagne pursues the Saracen forces.
  • Pinabel, fights for Ganelon in the judicial combat.
  • Thierry, fights for Charlemagne in the judicial combat.

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