Advertisement

Tolkien, Epic Traditions, and Golden Age Myths

  • Charles A. Huttar

Abstract

Epic typically lays before a contemporary audience a vision of lost glory, of an age when heroes walked the earth whose stature we may emulate but not equal. It may also hold out some hope for a reparation of loss, but not necessarily: we have epics whose mood is elegiac, such as Beowulf and the Iliad, as well as ones of more prophetic strain, such as the Aeneid and Paradise Lost. In some we find a more balanced mood: for Spenser, mutability reigns, but is not to be mistaken for decline; for Tennyson, Camelot passes, but the process of divine fulfilment continues.

Keywords

Continental Drift English Trans Paradise Lost Recurrent Dream Loeb Classical Library 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Works Cited

  1. Burger, D.A. ‘The Shire: A Tolkien Version of Pastoral’, Aspects of Fantasy: Selected Essays from the Second International Conference on the Fantastic in Literature and Film, William Coyle (ed.). Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy 19 (Westport, CT, and London: Greenwood, 1986), 149–54.Google Scholar
  2. Donne, John. An Anatomy of the World … The First Anniversary, London, 1611.Google Scholar
  3. Eliade, Mircea. Myths, Dreams and Mysteries: The Encounter between Contemporary Faiths and Archaic Realities, 1957, trans. Philip Mairet (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960).Google Scholar
  4. Epstein, E.L. ‘The Novels of J.R.R. Tolkien and the Ethnology of Medieval Christendom’, Philological Quarterly 48 (1969), 517–25.Google Scholar
  5. Flieger, Verlyn. ‘Frodo and Aragorn: The Concept of the Hero’, Tolkien: New Critical Perspectives, Neil D. Isaacs and Rose A. Zimbardo (eds) (Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1981), 40–62.Google Scholar
  6. Flieger, Verlyn. Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1983).Google Scholar
  7. Heinberg, Richard. Memories and Visions of Paradise: Exploring the Universal Myth of a Lost Golden Age (Los Angeles: Tu rcher, 1989).Google Scholar
  8. Helms, Randel. Tolkien’s World (Boston: Hoghton Mifflin, 1974).Google Scholar
  9. Hesiod. Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica, with English trans. by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Loeb Classical Library (London: Heinemann, 1929).Google Scholar
  10. Homer. The Iliad, trans. Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951).Google Scholar
  11. Huttar, Charles A. ‘Hell and the City: Tolkien and the Traditions of Western Literature’, A Tolkien Compass, Jared Lobdell (ed.) (LaSalle, IL: Open Court, 1975), 117–42.Google Scholar
  12. Kocher, Paul H. Master of Middle-earth: The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972).Google Scholar
  13. Levin, Harry. The Myth of the Golden Age in the Renaissance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  14. Lovejoy, Arthur O., and George Boas. Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1935).Google Scholar
  15. Lucretius Cams, Titus. De rerum natura, with English trans. by W.H.D. Rouse, Loeb Classical Library (London: Heinemann, 1924).Google Scholar
  16. Milton, John. Paradise Lost, 2nd edn, London, 1674.Google Scholar
  17. Morse, Robert E. Evocation of Virgil in Tolkien’s Art: Geritol for the Classics (Oak Park, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci, 1986).Google Scholar
  18. Nitzsche, Jane Chance. Tolkien’s Art: ‘A Mythology for England’ (London: Macmillan, 1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Noel, Ruth S. A Mythology of Middle-earth (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1978).Google Scholar
  20. Ovid. Ovid with English trans. by Frank Justus Miller, Loeb Classical Library, 2 vols (London: Heinemann, 1915–16).Google Scholar
  21. Partin, Harry B. ‘Paradise’, The Encyclopedia of Religion, Mircea Eliade (ed.), 16 vols (New York: Macmillan, 1987), 11: 184–9.Google Scholar
  22. Plato. Plato with English trans. by H.N. Fowler, Loeb Classical Library, 12 vols (London: Heinemann, 1914–55).Google Scholar
  23. Pugh, Dylan. ‘Atlantis and Middle-earth’, Amon Hen 68 (1984), 11–12.Google Scholar
  24. Purtill, Richard L. J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth, Morality, and Religion (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984).Google Scholar
  25. Putnam, Michael C.J. Tibullus: A Commentary (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1973).Google Scholar
  26. Reckford, Kenneth J. ‘Some Appearances of the Golden Age’, Classical Journal 54 (1958), 79–87.Google Scholar
  27. Ries, Julien. ‘The Fall’, The Encyclopedia of Religion, Mircea Eliade (ed.), 16 vols (New York: Macmillan, 1987), 5: 256–67.Google Scholar
  28. Ryan, J.S. ‘Woses: Wild Men or “Remnants of an Older Time”?’, Amon Hen 65 (1983), 7–12.Google Scholar
  29. Sale, Roger. ‘Tolkien and Frodo Baggins’, Tolkien and the Critics: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’, Neil D. Isaacs and Rose A. Zimbardo (eds) (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968), 247–88.Google Scholar
  30. Shippey, T.A. ‘Creation from Philology in The Lord of the Rings’, J.R.R. Tolkien, Scholar and Storyteller: Essays in Memoriam, Mary Salu and Robert T. Farrell (eds) (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979), 286–316.Google Scholar
  31. Smith, Jonathan Z. ‘Golden Age’, The Encyclopedia of Religion, Mircea Eliade (ed.), 16 vols (New York: Macmillan, 1987), 6: 69–73.Google Scholar
  32. Stewart, J.A. The Myths of Plato, 1904. New ed. by G.R. Levy (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1960).Google Scholar
  33. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit, or There and Back Again (London: Allen & Unwin, 1937).Google Scholar
  34. Tolkien, J.R.R. ‘On Fairy-Stories’, Essays Presented to Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis (ed.) (London: Oxford University Press, 1947), 38–89.Google Scholar
  35. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings (vol. 1, The Fellowship of the Ring; 2, The Two Towers; 3, The Return of the King). Cited in text as LR with volume number, 3 vols (London: Allen & Unwin, 1954–5).Google Scholar
  36. Tolkien, J.R.R. ‘Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics’, 1937. An Anthology of Beowulf Criticism, Lewis E. Nicholson (ed.) (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1963), 51–103.Google Scholar
  37. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien (ed.) (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977).Google Scholar
  38. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, selected and ed. Humphrey Carpenter, with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981).Google Scholar
  39. Vaughan, Henry. The Complete Poems, Alan Rudrum (ed.) (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981).Google Scholar
  40. Virgil. Virgil with English trans. by H. Rushton Fairclough, Loeb Classical Library, new and rev. edn, 2 vols (London: Heinemann, 1942–7).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles A. Huttar

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations