Compare and Contrast the Cid Portrayed in the Epic Poem with Fletcher’s Description of the Man


The title of the cid, meaning lord, in the ancient Spain was given to Rodrigo Diaz who was celebrated during his time. (Graham, 2011: 44). According to the description by Fletcher, the author of the quest for the cid and a British historian, the cid and his life is full of contradictions .the cid in the epic poems has no resemblance to the cid described by Fletcher. The cid is portrayed by Fletcher as a man who flourished during the eleventh century and was an adventurous soldier who had a great fortune. Furthermore, the cid is depicted by Fletcher as one of the many bosses or Cids with a unique statue during his time.

The cid in Fletcher’s description is seen as a mercenary who sold his martial skills and expertise to the Muslims and the Christians. The cid as described by Fletcher spent time serving the Muslims for five years as he had sold his services to them and fought the Christians alongside the Muslims. But, he was later banished for revealing the Muslims secrets to the Christians (Fletcher, 1991:6). The cid in his need for money drove away his conquered subjects. He is portrayed cid as a man who fought according to his earnings but not according to his religious beliefs.
Fletcher shows no difference between the mercenary cid in the Moorish land and at home in the kingdoms of northern Spain. Moreover, Fletcher does not credit the cid for uniting the Spain nation through Muslims and Christians unity. Contrary to this, the poem of the cid the epic poems also portray the cid as a zealous Christian leader who fought alongside the Christians with a goal of getting rid of Muslim rule in Spain (Miles, 2010:140).

Through the description and enquiry of the life of the cid, Fletcher separates facts from the myth showing how the legends transformed the cid into something he was not during his time. This cid described by Fletcher is insubordinate and very arrogant and his only interest is money. The cid described by Fletcher is not an interesting legend who was loyal and fought for his people but was the contrary (Bauer, 2002:106).

The quest for the cid written by Fletcher tries to help people understand the facts about the cid and separate it from the legend in the poems. Fletcher investigated the life of the cid in order to find out how he was turned into a legend. Fletcher established that poems and texts were used to revive the legend of the cid in order to promote the nationalism in Spain. Fletcher describes that the cid in his days was one of a type but not unique. Furthermore, Fletcher wrote that the name cid was never used as a title for Diaz as during that time it was used to mean lord or boss.

Contrary to Fletcher’s opinion, the cid is seen as a fervent and charismatic Christian warrior. The legend of the cid showed a Christian superiority in Spain and also as a special kind of warrior. In order to portray the cid as one of a type, Fletcher social and political landscape of which Diaz lived in and asserts that the frontier was not a line but a land with constant fluctuations. Furthermore, the borders between Christians and Muslims were not rigidly defined. Fletcher describes the cid as a man who wanted and desired to establish himself equal to the king during that time (MichaeL, 2011: 6). Eventually, the cid gained this by ruling Valencia in 1094 (Graham, 2011: 44).

The epic poem, lay of the cid, portrays the cid as a great warrior who is given tribute for the conquest of the Almeria. Moreover, according to the poems the cid is seen a national hero in Spain who helped liberate the Spain kingdom from the moors. The cid is also portrayed as a man who had a sense of national hood.


Bauer, S. Wise. 2002. The story of the world: history for the classical child. Activity book 2, The middle ages. Charles City, Va: Peace Hill Press.
Fletcher, R. A. 1991. The quest for El Cid. New York: Oxford University Press.
Harney, Michael. 2011. The epic of the Cid, with related texts. Indianapolis, Ind: Hackett Pub. Co.
Roddis, Miles. 2010. Valencia. Footscray, Vic: Lonely Planet.
Seal, Graham. 2001. Encyclopedia of folk heroes. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.

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