Stratford Caldecott also interpreted the Ring in theological terms: "The Ring of Power exemplifies thedark magic of the corrupted will, the assertion of self in disobedience to God. It appears to give freedom,but its true function is to enslave the wearer to the Fallen Angel. It corrodes the human will of the wearer,rendering him increasingly 'thin' and unreal; indeed, its gift of invisibility symbolizes this ability todestroy all natural human relationships and identity. You could say the Ring is sin itself: tempting andseemingly harmless to begin with, increasingly hard to give up and corrupting in the long run."As well as his fiction, Tolkien was also a leading author of academic literary criticism. His seminal 1936lecture, later published as an article, revolutionized the treatment of the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulfbyliterary critics. The essay remains highly influential in the study of Old English literature to this day.Beowulfis one of the most significant influences upon Tolkien's later fiction, with major details of bothThe Hobbitand The Lord of the Ringsbeing adapted from the poem. The piece reveals many of theaspects of Beowulfwhich Tolkien found most inspiring, most prominently the role of monsters inliterature, particularly that of the dragon which appears in the final third of the poem:As for the poem, one dragon, however hot, does not make a summer, or a host; and a manmight well exchange for one good dragon what he would not sell for a wilderness. Anddragons, real dragons, essential both to the machinery and the ideas of a poem or tale, areactually rare.This essay discusses the fairy-story as a literary form. It was initially written as the 1939 Andrew LangLecture at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.Tolkien focuses on Andrew Lang's work as a folklorist and collector of fairy tales. He disagreed withLang's broad inclusion, in his Fairy Book collections, of traveller's tales, beast fables, and other types ofstories. Tolkien held a narrower perspective, viewing fairy stories as those that took place in Faerie, anenchanted realm, with or without fairies as characters. He viewed them as the natural development of theinteraction of human imagination and human language.Publications"Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics""On Fairy-Stories"
In addition to his mythopoeic compositions, Tolkien enjoyed inventing fantasy stories to entertain hischildren.He wrote annual Christmas letters from Father Christmas for them, building up a series ofshort stories (later compiled and published as The Father Christmas Letters). Other works included Mr.Blissand Roverandom(for children), and Leaf by Niggle(part of Tree and Leaf), The Adventures of TomBombadil, Smith of Wootton Majorand Farmer Giles of Ham. Roverandomand Smith of Wootton Major,like The Hobbit, borrowed ideas from his legendarium.