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Word Count: 437
Unquestioned Duty Before contracts and signed agreements the only thing there was was a persons loyalty and trust In Medieval times it was important for a man to understand his duty and relationship to God as well as to his earthly king We are able to see such characterization of this bond with the title character in The Song of Roland and with Macduff in Shakespeares Macbeth Roland and Macduff both seem to be the essence of loyalty even though this devotion leads them down two very different paths Also connected to this theme of loyalty vassalage and the will of God and mans place is duty It is for duty not love of war that Roland fights to the death at Rencesvals Duty causes Charlemagne Rolands earthly king to retaliate his death In this poem duty is often connected to love The bonds between Charlemagne and Roland and between Roland and his men are exemplified by deep respect and affection Duty arises instinctively from this love just as unquestioning duty follows naturally from the magnificent love of God Even the pagans in The Song of Roland can be considered heroic when they are evaluated in terms of loyalty and vassalage The feudal system linked lords and vassals with a series of obligations and loyalties A vassal gave his total loyalty in exchange for protection and vengeance should the vassal be killed in service of his lord In this poem vassalage is depicted as a parallel of Christianity Rolands ultimate lord is God and it is in serving Charlemagne that Roland fulfills his duties as a Christian Our other loyal conqueror is Macduff Macduff shows his loyalty to King Duncan his earthly king when he discovers the truth behind Duncans murder While Macduff was very loyalty to Macbeth he is forced to shift his allegiance form Macbeth to Duncans son Malcolm After this change Macbeth has Macduffs wife and children slaughtered but instead of
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