The Lord of the Rings: Our Motivation in Committing Evil Acts Essay

The Lord of the Rings: Our Motivation in Committing Evil Acts Essay

Length: 3559 words (10.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview


The following analysis deals with the nature and source of evil and whether, given our innate motives and moral obligation, we willingly choose to succumb to our desires or are slaves of our passion. From this argument, I intend to show that our human nature requires that we play into our desires in order to affirm our free will. This is not to say that our desires are necessarily evil, but quite the opposite. In some sense, whatever people actually want has some relative value to them, and that all wanted things contain some good. But given that there are so many such goods and a whole spectrum of varying arrangements among them, that there is no way we can conceive anything as embodying an overall good just because it is to some degree wanted by one or a group of persons. In this light, there arises conflict which can only be resolved by a priority system defined by a code, maybe of moral foundations, which allows us to analyze the complexities of human motivation. I do not intend to set down the boundaries of such a notion, nor do I want to answer whether it benefits one to lead a morally good life, but rather want to find out how the constructs of good and evil affect our freedom to choose.

The Starting Point:

Free will can be wholly responsible for my motivation to write this paper. I was really hoping for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to come out in time to be used as the film for analysis, but to my disappointment, it opened in theaters the day this paper was due. So, I chose to write instead on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The films, though not really about our freedom to choose, inspired me to look into the topic of whether it is in our nature to willingly choose the path of evil to gain personal fulfillment. Our motives are not as clear cut as the archetypes portraying good and evil are in the film, but part of me thinks their embodiment in such fantastical creatures as elves, hobbits, orcs, and demons say something about the human desire to approach our weaknesses with understanding and strengths with humility. For if we learn from our mistakes we may grow stronger, while withdrawing from our arrogance, might we refrain from ruling out perfectly possible and desirable changes as impossible. This is the essence of our freedom.

The Assumptions:

My assumptions are few and hopefully essential. Firstly, the sciences do no...


... middle of paper ...


... moderation? Could we control the intake of our impulses? Is it so evident that given that freedom to take everything in would saturate one’s desires to point where the person would be compelled to turn the other way? Moderation of the good is, of course, the alternative, and like Plato said, the moral life is ultimately more fulfilling than the immoral one. That being said, I kick myself now for not looking deeper into the ethical dilemma raised by the struggle between good and evil. Still, it does not seem as interesting. The wicked person gets a far higher head-turning quotient, even if that person doe not intend to be so.

References

Bassham, Gregory and Eric Bronson (eds.) The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy.
Chicago: Open Court, 2003.

Benjamin, Anna and L.H. Hackstaff (tr). St Augustine On the Free Choice of the Will.
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964

Fromm, Erich. The Anatomy of Human of Human Destructiveness. London: Jonathan
Cape, 1974.

Jowett, B. (tr). Plato’s Republic. New York: W.J. Black, 1942.

Midgley, Mary. Wickedness. London: Routledge, 1984.

Stent, Gunther S. Paradoxes of Free Will. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society,
2002.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Lord Of The Rings Essay

- Is there a purpose to life. Is there a deeper meaning to existence that we, as humans, can discover. These are questions that nearly every person has asked. Thoughts on such matters plagued me when I was in the seventh grade, a time of awkward growth and problematic recognition among my peers. Because of my dilemmas in growth and acceptance, I became vulnerable to influence. Watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy launched me on a path of discovering self-purpose which strengthened my social relationships and boosted my self-confidence....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings]

Research Papers
998 words (2.9 pages)

The Lord Of The Rings Essay example

- J.R.R. Tolkien was born in January, 1982. He held many jobs throughout his life, including soldier, dictionary writer, and scholar. However, Tolkien is most famous for his work as an author (Lee and Stuart 4-5). One of Tolkien’s most famous works is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The plot of these books is centered around the journey of the main character, Frodo Baggins, and his attempt to destroy a very powerful Ruling Ring. The Ring has the ability to exploit the hopes, fears, strengths, and weaknesses of its wearers (Harkey)....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings]

Research Papers
2114 words (6 pages)

The Lord Of The Rings Essay

- More often than not the Lord of Rings triliogy is compared to aincent norse and celtic mythology. However it can be argued that Tolkiens’ Trilogy also contains some major components from Greek Mythology. The Lord of the Rings shares key thematic elements, and at times, very similar story line as the Odyssey. Brief Plot Summeries. The Odyssey is Homer 's epic of Odysseus ' 10-year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus battles mystical creatures and faces the wrath of the gods, his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus stave off suitors vying for Penelope 's hand and Ithaca 's throne long enough for Odysseus to return....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings]

Research Papers
1156 words (3.3 pages)

The Lord Of The Rings Essay

- The Lord of the Rings is a Trilogy that was written by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. This epic novel follows Frodo Baggins of Bag End, and his journey through Mordor to destroy the “One Ring”, a physical manifestation of evil Sauron. This tiny creature must embark on this journey to save the fictional world of Middle Earth from the revival of evil and destruction. ( Tolkien). What was the significance of The Lord of the Rings and its effect on Western Society after its creation in the 20th Century....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth]

Research Papers
1862 words (5.3 pages)

The Lord Of The Rings Essay

- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson. The film is an adaptation of a volume of the same name by J.R.R. Tolkien published in 1954. This is the first film of Peter Jackson’s trilogy that adapted J.R.R. Tolkien’s entire Lord of the Rings series into screenplay. The Fellowship of the Ring takes place in the Second Age in the fantasy world of Middle Earth, after Dark Lord Sauron forged multiple corrupting rings as gifts to the rulers of Middle Earth....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Sauron]

Research Papers
1305 words (3.7 pages)

The Lord Of The Rings Essay

- In the movie The Lord of The rings (LOTR) directed by Peter Jackson, Peter showed us that throughout time people have had to carry to uphold major burdens on their shoulders but there can be positive outcomes. In the film LOTR Directed by Peter Jackson one of the main protagonists Frodo Beggins is faced with a heavy burden of getting one ring that has the power to control all of middle earth “ One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them” ( LOTR The Fellowship of The Ring, Peter Jackson) to Mt....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Sauron]

Research Papers
919 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Lord Of The Rings

- Yet, The Lord of the Rings series does not end the way one might expect; after Sam and Frodo destroy the Ring of Power there are still almost one hundred pages of action, and not all of this action can simply be lumped into falling action. Waito states in his article, “The Shire quest: the 'Scouring of the Shire ' as the narrative and thematic focus of The Lord of the Ring,” “it is somewhat suspicious that the climax of such a carefully constructed narrative as LotR occurs less than halfway through Book Six” (Waito 155)....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth]

Research Papers
1012 words (2.9 pages)

The Lord Of The Rings Essay examples

- The author J.R.R. Tolkien has used many Norse mythological influences when writing his books the Lord of The Rings. Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa(biography) Before Tolkien wrote the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, he was a major scholar of Middle english, he was also a twice professor of Anglo Saxon at the university of Oxford ("Biography”). While Tolkien was a professor at Oxford university he started a writing group called the Inklings. One day while Tolkien was grading a paper he just randomly wrote down “there was hole in the ground where there once lived a hobbit”....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth, Sauron]

Research Papers
1458 words (4.2 pages)

The Lord Of The Rings Essay examples

- When I first came to the character of Frodo Baggins, the first thing that came upon my mind was that he would have the determination to resist the temptations of evil and portray great characteristics but instead he was presented as becoming more attached to the ring than his allies that try to help him succeed in his quest. Frodo is described as a curious little hobbit wanting to discover the outside and have the knowledge to what comes upon him. Frodo’s goodness, wisdom, and generally peculiar character might make him seem one dimensional if he were not frequently doubtful and being faced with obstacles that he feels unable to conquer....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth, Hobbit]

Research Papers
1203 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Lord Of The Rings

- One might argue that attaining and retaining power remains one of the main goals of life, where one gains an amount of control and keeps that control to bask in one’s own success of the manipulation through the series of a course of events. Whether power be raising a family or a farm, controlling a business, or ruling a nation, power can often be seen as a gauge of success, and once power is obtained, it is not easily again released. Few remarkable events in history and literature demonstrate how individuals who come into great power have a great enough will to then leave their posts of command....   [tags: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth, Sauron]

Research Papers
1062 words (3 pages)