Carl Guillaume 11/10/2008
Response Paper #2
The two books, The Cid, and Candide, deal with a transition from a worldview that emphasizes on morals and absolutism. I feel they deal with this subject matter in different ways because of the era these books reflect. The ideas and moral values people held at the time also are shown.
During the eleventh century, in which the story of The Cid takes place, it is a time of great honor and chivalry. Much of the play is centered on honor. The play begins with Don Rodrigo challenging his father-in-law to a duel. Don Rodrigo’s father was insulted by a slap in the face. His father is too old to raise his hand, so Don Rodrigo must take up “the sword”, basically take his father’s place. In doing this he knows he is doomed. On one side is his father’s honor on the line. On the other hand, the person he’s facing is his beloved’s soon-to be wife’s father. This decision is not an easy. His is caught in a liminal space. “Don Diego. Of an insult so cruel that it deals a deadly stroke against the honor of us both—of a blow! The insolent [man] would have lost his life for it, but my age deceived my noble ambition; and this sword, which my arm can no longer wield, I give up to thine, to avenge and punish. Go against this presumptuous man, and prove thy valor: it is only in blood that one can wash away such an insult; die or slay. Moreover, not to deceive thee, I give thee to fight a formidable antagonist.”1.
To take up this challenge can mean only one thing for Don Rodrigo, defend his father’s honor and lose his bride, Chimène. “Pierced even to the depth [or, bottom of the heart] by a blow unexpected as well as deadly, pitiable avenger of a just quarrel and unfortunate object of an unjust severity, what fierce conflicts [of feelings] I experience! My love is engaged [lit. interests itself] against my own honor. I must avenge a...