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The Song of Roland and Ywain: A Changing Society as Viewed Through Its Literature When comparing the epic poem of The Song of Roland to the romantic literature of Ywain, the differences between the early medieval period and the high medieval period become evident. Both The Song of Roland and Ywain depicts the societies from which each story derives its fundamental characteristics. Through close observation, one is able to see the shifts in customs and …

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…of Roland to Ywain, the society for which each derives its story becomes clear. Likewise, when keeping in mind the changing thoughts, concepts, and feelings of the twelfth century the shift from epic to romance also becomes apparent. Southern's chapter detailed the journey that the people of the period took that made this shift possible. It is these thoughts, found within the romantic literature, which forever differentiates the high Middle Ages for the earlier ages.