Sherrylyn Branchaw tried to take the Ring from Frodo . . . I am sorry. I have paid." With these words, a dying Boromir expresses both his wrongdoing and his repentance (TT, III, i, 16). He has assaulted Frodo, seen the Fellowship break into smaller groups in panic, followed Merry and Pippin to protect them, and died defending them from Orcs. This sequence of events, in conjunction with Boromir's dying words, has led to a widespread belief among critics that Boromir brings about the breaking of the Fellowship of the Ring as a result of his misdeeds. His attempt to take the Ring from Frodo is universally condemned, though scholars draw differing conclusions about the implications of his effect on the breaking of the Fellowship. Some read it as a solely bad outcome, with Merry and Pippin being captured by Orcs and Frodo forced to go to Mordor with only Sam for company. Others read the breaking and the assault that led to it as a felix culpa, a necessary fork in the road to get the Ring to Mount Doom while still allowing Merry and Pippin to inspire the Ents into action and allowing Aragorn to travel
Tolkien Studies – West Virginia University Press
Published: Dec 18, 2015
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