The Song of My Cid

  • Painting by Marcos Hiraldez de Acosta called The Oath of Santa Gadea, El Cid Campeador (c.1043-99) extracts an oath from AlfonsonVI
  • The Song of My Cid is a Spanish epic poem written in the 12th Century.  It is about a real person, a knight named Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, also known as Cid Campeador.  “El Cid” means the Lord and “My Cid” means My Lord.  The story goes was living peacefully when all of a sudden he found himself exiled by the king of Spain.  The knight Rodrigo gets very angry because he has to send away his two daughters, Elvira and Sol and his wife Jimena.  Rodrigo joins the Reconquista, which was the war to drive the Moors out of Spain, in hopes to regain his honor.  He wins the great battle at Valencia and is a hero.  King Alfonso of Spain is impressed and allows him to come back to Spain. After five long years Rodrigo gets to see his family again.  The king had two sons.  He asked if Elvira and Sol would marry his two sons.  They had to say yes, it was the King after all.  After the celebration the two princes took their new wives into the woods.  They made camp and slept the night there.  Early in the morning the two princes stripped their wives and tied them to a tree and whipped them. The evil princes then fled and left them to die.  But thankfully their friend Felez Munoz saved the day and brought them home.  Their father, My Cid, was very angry.  Then he challenged the sons to a duel.  The King said yes and when the Princes came back they shook when they saw Rodrigo’s greatest sword. Of course Rodrigo won and once again peace returned.  He was a hero to the Spanish people because he helped unify Spain and drive out the Moors.

    I liked the story a lot and I think that Robin Hood and this story have a lot in common.  Both stories are about a hero but they do not have magical elements like dragons or special powers.  They have realism.  I think it is more exciting to read because it seems more true and you can believe it really happened.  My favorite part of the story was when El Cid got to see his wife and daughters again because I felt happy for him.

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