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How Far Can The Trilogies By Tolkien And Lewis Be Considered Mythic?
Tolkien and Lewis are two scholars and writers who lived at almost the same period and had substantial influence in each other’s life. With their close and mutual relationship, the influence this impacted on their works of art and literature is notable (Edwards 2007: 106).
Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy has inspired more attention, commentary, interest, creativity and following as compared to most modern-day work of literature. On the same level, the works elicit interpretations that are as varied as the divergent philosophies to which their adherents embrace. Tolkien on his side held that it is the fulfilment of God’s purpose for one to make a myth; that in doing so the story-teller reflects a splintered chip of the right light (Honegger 2007: Series No. 8).
Of great interest to scholars and other readers in respect to the trilogy by Tolkien are the languages employed in the work. The linguistic devices that Tolkien makes use of in the trilogy draw out the perspective of the great work. There is vivid association of language with magic which helps in pinning a mythic perspective on the trilogy. Linguistic variations exhibited play a decisive role in defining various aspects in this work of art and literature.
Tolkien’s mythical God starts works of creating and later delegates the work of creation to other sub-creators (lesser gods) – in ‘The Silmarillion’. The title of the book ‘The Lord of the Rings’ alludes to the evil Sauron (servant of the Morgoth). The reason why Sauron becomes the Lord of the Rings is because he was responsible for creating the Rings of power and then created the other One Ring which rules over the rest of the Rings (Edwards 2007). The story is in actual sense a depiction of how different characters react to forces of darkness. It portrays the reactions of men, goblins, hobbits or other creatures to those forces. In order that the world should be saved from Sauron, Frodo (the young hobbit) has to take the mythical ring (representing a wedding ring between the earth and evil) and return it to the place it was forged; that is Mount Doom. This is not a simple task and therefore to sail through, a coalition has to be established. The races of the Middle-Earth consequently form an alliance to provide help to Frodo in the battle against the armies of Sauron (Honegger 2007: Series No. 8). This alliance becomes of sexual interactions between the creatures of different races. This however sails towards the direction of a fantasy; which makes Tolkien’s world to be Victorian that is characterized by such fantasy literature.
One more aspect of the trilogy that makes it more mythic din nature is the populace that makes up the Tolkien’s epic world. This epic earth in the story is made up of dwarves, full of deadly magicians, evil monsters and goblins.
Background and History of ‘The Lord of the Rings’
‘The Lord of the Rings’ has a complex background having its base on the previous work (The Hobbit). It is in ‘The Hobbit’ that creation of the characters encountered in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was done. The epic world in the story is quite complicated and the amazing issue also in the story is that in spite of presence of human characters in the world, they by no means form a focal point or become central figures in the entire story. The heroes in the story are rather the hobbits that live in burrows- in the Shire. There are also talking trees, and other characters of varying levels of rationality which include monsters of different kinds, ghosts, and spirits.
Amazingly, every creature in the epic’s world would be better off speaking its own language as there are as many of the languages as the number of creatures themselves and despite there being a common language for all the beings. Where the king of the rings lives is a smoky land- a ‘land where shadows lie’. Though a myth would generally be taken as an adumbration of something that was once either a fact or which people felt at one moment to be a fact or at least which people desired to be a fact, the Tolkien’s trilogy is closer to a mythic story than a symbolic or a realistic novel.
‘The Lord of the Rings’ as a work of fiction stirs, to an extent, a thought of an eyewitness into historical factual events. It is an incredible adventure of war that involves the beings at all levels. Thus at long last we see Frodo accidentally taking possession of the magic ring which reinstates the power that was lost for years. The careful presentation of creatures in the places where they live and the care which the names of the creatures are chosen is a good philologic.............
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