Knightonc.tolkienpaper.doc - Cherie Knighton Livingston REL...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 4 pages.

Cherie Knighton Livingston REL 3112 21 March 2019 Christian Symbolism in Tolkien's Work J.R.R. Tolkien's intent to keep religion and cults out of The Lord of the Rings in favor of incorporating Catholic symbolism into his story is largely successful. According to Michael Martinez, a reader would have a difficult time finding examples of cults within Middle-earth except perhaps for a few obscure references or when "the Barrow-wights attempt to sacrifice (or murder) Frodo and his companions" ("Are There Any Cults in Middle-Earth?"). Martinez discusses how Tolkien "deliberately omitted the trappings of religion" because Tolkien wanted to focus on an early stage in the development of human sophistication versus the accomplishments of the elves and dwarves ("Are There Any Cults in Middle-Earth?"). The Christian symbolism in The Lord of the Rings ; however, is vast. The one ring itself can be interpreted as being linked to original sin, and Mount Doom to Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, according to Joseph Pearce ("18 Ways The Lord of the Rings is Christian Allegory"). Pearce also discusses how many of the seven sacraments are evidenced in The Lord of the Rings , mentioning "the Eucharist is present symbolically in the depiction of the elvish life-bread or bread of life" ("Are There Any Cults in Middle-Earth?"). According to N. L. Nadhifah, Tolkien's richly detailed world of Middle-earth, filled with its fascinating mythology that incorporates Christian symbols, is at its core a story about the conflict between good and evil, where the protagonist, Frodo, must endure a series of obstacles during his journey to destroy the one ring and stop Sauron (Nadhifah). Frodo is a Christ-like figure, and so pure he can bare the ring the longest, while Sauron could be said to be a Satan

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture