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Biography Of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a British writer of fantasy, philologist and scholar. He is best known for his magnum opus The Lord of the Rings (LotR1): the story that came to life thanks to Tolkien's love for ancient languages and mythology. The passion that led to the creation of one of the most elaborate fictional universes – Middle-earth. However, little did Tolkien know that the stories he started writing in 1914 would turn into mythology and worldwide phenomena (Shippey 2011:37), even less so that his writing would be regarded as the foundation of modern fantasy (James and Mendleshon 2012:62).

Professor Tolkien spent the bigger part of his life creating Middle-earth. If at first it was for his own amusement, later years show how tales about this imaginary realm enchanted millions of people from all around the world. It all started with the publication of The Hobbit (1937) which was so successful that the publishers, Allen & Unwin, asked for a sequel. The follow-up book, LotR, took twelve years to write. During this period professor Tolkien had no idea where his writing would lead him (too familiar a feeling for undergraduates). Luckily for readers, the laborious effort bore fruit and Allen & Unwin published LotR in three volumes: The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), The Two Towers (1954) and The Return of the King (1955). This manner of printing is still popular and leads to the misconception that the story is a trilogy. It is a novel, a single novel with six books and, often, appendices. Since publication, LotR and The Hobbit have gained enormous popularity with the readers. The former book has been sold in 50 million copies, the latter – 40 million. This makes Tolkien one of the biggest-selling author of the 20t...

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...rism of moral philosophy, social psychology and foresnic psychiatry is applied for a better understanding of this concept. Furthermore, the notion of free will stemming from metaphysical libertarianism is used as to hold the characters morally responsible for their actions as well as allow the possibility of more than one course of action to be taken at any given instance. In the analysis part I will apply the insights gained from the reading while examining the characters encountering external and internal evil. The chosen characters will be group into those who win, partially win and succumb to the force of evil. However, the character of Gollum makes an interesting exception as it is difficult to fully assign him to any of the aforementioned categories. For that reason, his relationship with evil seems to be rather unique and merits a study in greater detail.
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