Description: This study views J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy against its Anglo-Saxon background, specifically in light of Tolkien's 1936 Beowulf essay, and contends that the author consciously attempted to recreate the mood of the heroic poem. Chapter I compares Tolkien's use of historical perspective in Lord of the Rings with that of the Beowulf poet. His recognition of the poet's artistic use of history is stated in the "Beowulf" essay. Chapter II makes comparisons between Good and Evil as they are revealed in Beowulf and in the trilogy. Once again, much of the evidence for this comparison is found in Tolkien's Beowulf criticism. Chapter III examines the comitatus relationship fundamental to the heroic poem and to Lord of the Rings. It is the major element in Tolkien's portrayal of Good. Chapter IV concludes the study by asserting that the trilogy must be viewed as an heroic elegy, in exactly the same way that Tolkien viewed Beowulf. Thus, the theme of the trilogy, like Beowulf, is the mutability of man.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Simpson, Dale W. (Dale Wilson)
Partner: UNT Libraries