According to Harold Bloom on Bloom’s Literature, Tolkien was interested in philology since his early teenage years, an interest that led him to stumble upon Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon mythology. Anglo-Saxon mythology presents itself in many ways throughout The Hobbit. “…an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which his long white beard hung down below his waist, and black immense boots.” (The Hobbit, pg. 13) This description of Gandalf seems to bear a very close resemblance to the Anglo-Saxon God, Odin, who was often depicted as an old man who wore a long cloak, with a long white beard. Gandalf also brings help to Bilbo along the way, as Odin did with great heroes.
Another piece of Anglo-Saxon mythology comes from the story of Beowulf. Near the end of the story of Beowulf, a thief steals a gold cup from a dragon, causing it to be angry and seek destruction of the creature who might have taken it. (Elements of Literature, pg. 42) In almost identical circumstances, Bilbo sneaks up on a sleeping dragon and burgles a large golden cup from underneath him. (The Hobbit, pg. 185)
Following Tolkien’s passion for philology, he was very interested in language...
... middle of paper ...
...xperience as an orphan, and his participation the Battle of Somme. No matter the influence on his writing, Tolkien is by far one of the best authors of the 20th century.
Stade, George, and Karen Karbiener. "Tolkien, J. R. R." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 20 Nov. 2013
Bloom, Harold, ed. "Tolkien, J. R. R." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 20 Nov. 2013
Gaydosik, Victoria. "Tolkien, J. R. R." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 20 Nov. 2013
Tolkein, J.R.R. The Hobbit. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973. Print.
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