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Modernized Myth, Beowulf, J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Lord of the Rings

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

Awakening a World With Words: How J.R.R. Tolkien Uses Linguistic Narrative Techniques to Take His Readers to Faery in His Short Story Smith of Wootton Major.

Description: J.R.R. Tolkien uses specific linguistic narrative techniques in Smith of Wootton Major to make the world of Wootton Major and the nearby land of Faery come to life for his readers. In this thesis, I examine how Tolkien accomplishes this feat by presenting a linguistic analysis of some parts of the story. My analysis is also informed by Tolkien's own ideas of fairy-stories, and as such, it uniquely shows the symbiotic relationship between Tolkien's theories and his narrative art.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Pueppke, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tolkien's Elvish

Description: "This thesis is a critical analysis of Tolkien's Elvish. This critical analysis is motivated in the same way as critiques of other aspects of literary art, such as plot, characterization, and structure. The latter are subject to critical evaluation precisely because they are a part of the writer's creative art. Elvish is also the product of the artist's creativity. The fact that Tolkien is a trained philologist and distinguished language scholar and has obviously lavished much time and effort on Elvish make this created language a valid area for analysis and criticism...in view of the extent of the available data, all that can be attempted here is a description of Elvish morphology and syntax in light of both the evidence and Tolkien's comments about it."--leaves 1-5
Date: August 1968
Creator: Tuck, Mary Patricia
Partner: UNT Libraries