Tolkien's Influence On Beowulf

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Tolkien’s academic background in the 1930’s included a series of lectures about Beowulf, and he became very well known for them. According to Colin Duriez (author of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend), undergraduate and postgraduate students were entertained and influenced by Tolkien’s reading of Beowulf. According to a letter sent to Tolkien in his later years, “the voice was the voice of Gandolf” (Duriez 135). Tolkien was able to communicate Beowulf in a way that made a profound impact on students. The work that truly distinguished Tolkien as an expert on Beowulf was his essay titled, The Monsters and the Critics. It was based on his Beowulf lectures in 1936. The impact was that it changed the way Beowulf was studied and understood by the academic world. It was a dramatic change because, in the past, people used Beowulf as a means to learn about the Germanic culture by using Beowulf as a historical document instead of as a work of art. Tolkien believed that people who were seeking to make Beowulf a way to understand people of the time in which it had been written were making a mistake. In the process, Tolkien believed they judged the work incorrectly as a history. Tolkien did not seem very critical of those who had studied Beowulf in this context. He simply pointed out that the poet behind Beowulf was so successful…show more content…
As Samwise is loyal to Frodo through his journey, Wiglaf is faithful to Beowulf until the very end. Just as Samwise had his moment reminding Frodo to continue to move forward, Wiglaf did the same with his attempt to urge others to not abandon Beowulf. Wiglaf also did his best to inspire Beowulf to continue forward against the dragon when it seemed the dragon would be the winner of their battle in spite of the fact that it would lead to Beowulf’s death. Both Samwise and Wiglaf saw there was a greater good that had to be defended even at the risk of

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