158 stratford caldecott also interpreted the ring in

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[158] Stratford Caldecott also interpreted the Ring in theological terms: "The Ring of Power exemplifies the dark 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 to destroy all natural human relationships and identity. You could say the Ring is sin itself: tempting and seemingly harmless to begin with, increasingly hard to give up and corrupting in the long run." [159] As well as his fiction, Tolkien was also a leading author of academic literary criticism. His seminal 1936 lecture, later published as an article, revolutionized the treatment of the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf by literary critics. The essay remains highly influential in the study of Old English literature to this day. Beowulf is one of the most significant influences upon Tolkien's later fiction, with major details of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings being adapted from the poem. The piece reveals many of the aspects of Beowulf which Tolkien found most inspiring, most prominently the role of monsters in literature, 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 man might well exchange for one good dragon what he would not sell for a wilderness. And dragons, real dragons, essential both to the machinery and the ideas of a poem or tale, are actually rare. [160] This essay discusses the fairy-story as a literary form. It was initially written as the 1939 Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Tolkien focuses on Andrew Lang's work as a folklorist and collector of fairy tales. He disagreed with Lang's broad inclusion, in his Fairy Book collections, of traveller's tales, beast fables, and other types of stories. Tolkien held a narrower perspective, viewing fairy stories as those that took place in Faerie, an enchanted realm, with or without fairies as characters. He viewed them as the natural development of the interaction 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 his children. [161] He wrote annual Christmas letters from Father Christmas for them, building up a series of short stories (later compiled and published as The Father Christmas Letters ). Other works included Mr. Bliss and Roverandom (for children), and Leaf by Niggle (part of Tree and Leaf ), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil , Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham . Roverandom and Smith of Wootton Major , like The Hobbit , borrowed ideas from his legendarium .

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