The Mythology of Middle Earth: Tolkien’s Genius Essay

The Mythology of Middle Earth: Tolkien’s Genius Essay

Length: 1480 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

J.R.R. Tolkien’s desire to create a mythology for Middle Earth led him to draw inspiration from the mythologies of the world he was raised in. This assembly of various parts from earlier myths and works formed the basis of what is known as The Silmarillion. The creation story as outlined by the story of Ilúvatar draws its origins from the creation story of both Catholic and Pagan lore. Here, Tolkien’s own personal beliefs draw him to lead the fate of Eä down a path reminiscent of the biblical lore. Also, the narrative structure of The Silmarillion hearkens back to the old myths and tales of Gilgamesh and Beowulf. Tolkien’s desire to build a realistic mythology drew him towards analyzing and understanding what made those tales endure and be accepted as a part of the mythology of Britain. A close analysis of The Silmarillion will help illuminate these ideas.
J.R.R. Tolkien has made no mystery of his religious upbringing. As a child, his mother converted him to Roman Catholicism, and shortly died thereafter. His understanding of her death through a Catholic scope influenced him greatly throughout his life. The Catholic ideology runs deep in the minds of those that believe in it, and influences their behavior later in life, and this effect occurred in Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Ainulindalë, The Silmarillion’s creation story, is his unconscious repetition of his beliefs.
The opening paragraph of Ainulindalë recites the very early moments:
“There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar ; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding them to themes of music; and they sang before him and he was glad.” (...


... middle of paper ...


...ect our perception of it.
Tolkien’s impressive understanding of the many factors that lend themselves to a rich mythology and folklore led The Silmarillion to be arguably his most creative and impressive work. He labored over it until his death, wanting to get the stories just right in the way that truly represented the Middle Earth that existed inside Tolkien’s mind. He died before he had a chance to complete it, but thankfully his son Christopher, carried his father’s legacy and picked up right where John Ronald Reuel left off, as if he was still the master of his craft in his afterlife.



Works Cited

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Silmarillion. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.
Fisher, Jason. “From Mythopoeia to Mythography: Tolkien, Lönnrot, and Jerome.” In Allan
Turner, ed., The Silmarillion: Thirty Years On. Zürich: Walking Tree Publishers,
2007.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Essay

- J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings "Three Rings for the Eleven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his Dark throne, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie(Tolkien)." Master of storytelling J.R.R. Tolkien continues the lives of the fictitious creatures that he introduced in The Hobbit, in his modern classic The Fellowship of the Ring....   [tags: Tolkien Lord Rings Essays]

Powerful Essays
1947 words (5.6 pages)

The Lord of The Rings Universe Essay example

- Dark, imposing, devious, powerful beyond measure, Sauron is evil personified in the Lord of the Rings universe. He is the be all and end all when it comes to villiany in the Lord of the Rings tale. He is a major reason that the Lord of the Rings is regarded as a pinnacle of epic fantasy story telling. But he is not an overly complex villain, with morally gray motivations that some may say are required if an evil character, especially the central one, is to be regarded as important and beneficial to the plot....   [tags: tolkien, evil]

Powerful Essays
1033 words (3 pages)

J.R.R. Tolkien Essay

- J.R.R. Tolkien Merely mentioning the name J.R.R. Tolkien conjures up fantasies. Though his trilogy The Lord of the Rings is well known, not much else is known about the man who was a scholar before anything else. It is, in fact, the cult scale popularity of the trilogy that obscures the many accomplishments that marked his life. He won an exhibition, or a middle class merit scholarship, to Oxford University in 1911. By the time he attained his bachelor’s degree, he was conversant in seven languages and had created another....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Powerful Essays
1436 words (4.1 pages)

The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, And The Lord Of The Rings Essay

- J.R.R. Tolkien was an english author well known for writing the classics The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and The Lord of The Rings. This fantasy series of books is one of the most popular in the world. Many film adaptations, spin offs, and even music have been made in dedication to these books. You could even say that they have their own fan base. With such a massive following, and business centered around the works of Tolkien definitely has the potential to become a huge success. I present to you my idea, a restaurant simply named Middle Earth....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth]

Powerful Essays
891 words (2.5 pages)

The Tolkien 's ' The Hobbit ' Essay

- “‘Farewell,’ they cried, ‘Wherever you fare till your eyries receive you at the journey 's end!’ That is the polite thing to say among Eagles. ‘May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks,’ answered Gandalf, who knew the correct reply.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again) For those reading this who are familiar with Lord of the Rings, one has heard the classic “Eagles theory.” This theory states that before Gandalf died, he had planned for the Fellowship to take the Eagles to Mordor, and when he came back as Gandalf the White he had forgotten about it (Covucci “A Thorough Rebuttal to the ‘Why Didn’t the Eagles Just Fly Frodo to Mordor’ LOTR...   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth]

Powerful Essays
1080 words (3.1 pages)

Analysis Of Tolkien 's ' The Lord Of The Rings ' Essay

- “Some damn his [Tolkien’s] fiction for its old-fashioned, misogynistic depiction of women. […] Tolkien presents a society […] in which women have traditionally been seen as decorative but ultimately powerless, as pawns in a man’s world” (Neville, 101). This has been one of the criticisms that are often believed about the women in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Some have said that the reason for it could be the much of Tolkien’s world is based on Germanic culture, in which women have traditional roles....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth, Sauron]

Powerful Essays
1645 words (4.7 pages)

Essay about R. Tolkien

- Many people have heard of J.R.R. Tolkien and his books, but not many of them know about his history or reasons for starting his trilogy. He had quite a few grounds on which wrote his works and inspired readers’ to expand their range of imagination with his amazing stories. By looking at The Fellowship of the Ring, one can see that J.R.R. Tolkien included the themes of the corrupting influence of power and the power of myth because of his religious and intellectual views. J.R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Sauron, Middle-earth]

Powerful Essays
1486 words (4.2 pages)

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Essay

- J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings strikes a cord with almost everyone who reads it. Its popularity has not waned with the passing of time, nor is its appeal centered on one age group or generation. Book sales would indicate that The Lord of the Rings is at least as popular now as it ever was, if not more so. Some estimates put it at the second highest selling work of all time, following only the bible. While it is certainly an exciting and well written work of fantasy, which cannot help but grip the imagination, all this would be for naught except for the poignancy of the themes which serve as its backbone....   [tags: Tolkien Lord Rings Essays]

Powerful Essays
2384 words (6.8 pages)

J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Essay

- J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the Darkness bind them” (Tolkien, The Two Towers 233)      One of the masters of British Literature, J.R.R. Tolkien was able to create a fantasy world with an endless supply of parallelisms to reality. The fantasy world was found in the “Lord of the Rings.” Tolkien is able to create wonderful symbolism and meaning out of what would otherwise be considered nonsense. He creates symbolism and meaning by mastering his own world and his own language....   [tags: J.R.R. Tolkien Lord Rings Essays]

Powerful Essays
2291 words (6.5 pages)

J.R.R. Tolkien Essay

- J.R.R. Tolkien J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) gained a reputation during the 1960’s and 1970’s as a cult figure among youths disillusioned with war and the technological age. His continuing popularity evidences his ability to evoke the oppressive realities of modern life while drawing audiences into a fantasy world. John Ronald Reuel was born on the third of January, 1892, at Bloemfontein, South Africa, where his father, Arthur, had taken a position with the Bank of Africa. In 1895 Tolkien’s mother, Mabel Suffield, moved back to England with her children, because Tolkien‘s health was affected by the climate....   [tags: Biography Biographies J.R.R. Tolkien]

Powerful Essays
884 words (2.5 pages)