Print. Wood, Ralph C. The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-Earth. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2003. Print.
The morality of revenge is often difficult to evaluate, and the struggle to determine whether it is the path to justice or evil subtlety permeates through J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. In the novel, the morality of vengeance does not fall into the clearly set lines between good and evil. This grey area is a hallmark of Tolkien's background, for his religion and academic studies have conflicting stances on revenge. His faith criticizes revenge and promotes forgiveness, yet he was a scholar of Anglo-Saxon literature which portrays revenge as the noble route to justice.
NY: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003. Steward, W. Christopher: “The Lord of Magic and Machines. Tolkien on Magic and Technology.“ The Hobbit and Philosophy: For when you've Lost your Dwarves, your Wizard, and your Way. Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson, eds. The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series.
The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. 170, 171. Tolkien, JRR. The Letters of JRR Tolkien.
In the article “Revenge and Moral Judgement in Tolkien”, Brian Rosebury explores the complexities of revenge within the rigid moral framework of Middle-earth. Tolkien's Christian faith promotes forgiveness and discourages vengeance; however, in his professional career he studied the tales of the pre-Christian North, where vindictive behaviour is encouraged. Due to his background, he does not condone nor completely dismiss revenge as a proper course of action. Instead, he presents acts of revenge that range from condemnable to subtlety acceptable. To add another layer of complexity, Tolkien invents sensible, sympathetic characters that are motivated by spite and want retribution.
We can see this in his book about the ring, The Lord of the Rings. In his book, Tolkien writes about a myth and a struggle for life, which leaves the reader puzzled and trying to figure out what the characters will do next. However, The Lord of the Rings can be described as heroism because the characters are willing to do whatever it takes to destroy the ring in the presence of life and death. Historical Source Basney, Lionel. Myth, History, and Time in The Lord of the Rings.