Lord Of The Rings Directions: 5-7 double spaced pages (choose a thesis that you can adequately defend in this space—I would rather you focus on the thesis and argument rather than how many words you write, so if you go over a page you will not be penalized.), typed, Times New Roman 12 pt font (the entire document must be in 12 pt font), page numbers, minimal header, appropriate title, consistent and correct use of citations, use of at least two scholarly or non-LotR/Hobbit sources (such as any of the Medieval Norse or Old English sources, academic articles, class secondary readings, a book, etc). Paper should consist of a personal, well-supported argument (see Thesis and Analysis Writing Tips for Students)Preview the document. Show excellent writing and reasoning skills. Potential Topics: These questions/topics are not, on their own, a sufficient thesis. These are meant to prompt your own curiosity. For most of these topics, you will have to do some research about whatever Norse source you include. You might even have to go into Norlin Library, aka ‘The Paths of the Dead (Trees)’. In literature, a conflict is a struggle between two opposing forces. Explain the conflict between Gollum & Bilbo or Gollum & Frodo (or another pair in the books) and explain why it is different than a Norse or Old English conflict we have read. The setting of a scene is where it takes place. Explain how a specific setting in the books adds to or complements the story/mood/feelings of a character. Compare it to a setting/scene in our medieval sources. Possibilities: the Barrow Downs, the Old Forest, Rivendell, the bleakness of the Great River, Lothlórien, Rohan, the Paths of the Dead, Mordor Consider fate and inherited destinies (Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo, and the family curse of Volsungs). Consider one or two of the Gifts of Galadriel, and consider reciprocity between friends in the Hávamál and Beowulf. Why does Galadriel give that gift to whom she does, and what does she expect in return? Consider revenge in Saga of the Volsungs and some LotR characters. Does Tolkien glorify revenge the way the Viking Age Norse did? Remember Beowulf fighting the dragon, and our class discussion about Beowulf being an irresponsible leader. In this light, is Boromir correct to try to take the Ring from Frodo? In what way can you personally empathize with [antagonist, such as Gollum]? How (if at all) does Tolkien write [character] to be sympathetic? Are any of the antagonists in our Norse/Old English sources written sympathetically? Explore a relationship between Théoden’s hopeless charge at Helm’s Deep and Beowulf’s fight with the dragon and/or The Battle of Maldon. Choose a Nordic or Old English source that Tolkien directly borrows from and analyze how and why Tolkien borrows it/what he changes/etc. Possibilities: Hávamál stz 29 and the Riders of Rohan, conflict at Meduseld, Unferth in Beowulf. The Wanderer and the Riders of Rohan – what is the mood of the poem and why apply it to the Rohirrim? Any example from class You will need to do some research into the specific origin of your Norse/Old English source. I am happy to suggest articles. Consider the idea that Loki and Gollum are beings with a dual-nature who both cause evil and allow greater good to prosper. How are Frodo and Gollum foils to one another? How do they relate to foils in the source material such as Sigurd and Gunnar, or Beowulf and Grendel?
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