When Oliver sees that the Franks have no chances against the prevailing army of the Saracens, he tries to convince Roland to blow his horn. However, Roland appears to care about his pride more and refuses. He replies that it would be dishonorable for the knights to get help from their emperor.
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Charlemayn is ready to lead his army back home to France. However, a part of it should stay behind and guard the mountain pass. Moreover, some trusted knight needs to volunteer to take charge of it. Roland, as the most devoted emperor’s man, decides it should be him. Then, as Charlemayn and the main forces continue their journey, the rear guard is notified about the approaching Saracens’ army. Oliver is sure that pagans are too strong for the Franks to win and suggests calling for help. However, safety does not appear to the priority for Roland, and he declines the offer.
Mostly, it has to deal with the main character’s personal beliefs and traits. Roland is a very honorable man and stays beside his pride. Therefore, blowing the horn to call for Charlemayn’s help would mean that he cannot stand for himself. For Roland, keeping the image of a brave knight ready to die in the battle is far more critical. On the other hand, such an approach can be seen as foolish. Due to Roland’s poor decision, all the soldiers left to guard the pass die. Only when it is too late, he realizes it and blows his horn for aid. Charlemayn arrives when all the Franks are already dead.