Tolkien's Classical Beowulf and England's Heroic Age

Tolkien's Classical Beowulf and England's Heroic Age Tolkien’s Classical Beowulf and England’s Heroic Age Jane Chance .R.R. Tolkien’s writing is not generally regarded today as having been greatly inu fl enced by the classics. However, in the mid--eight ies, Robert E. Morse noted that just as the modern poet “[T. S.] Eliot sees Vergil, not a Nordic myth, at the center of European civilization,” rather surprisingly, “if we look, we may find he is at the heart of Middle Earth” ( Evocation of Virgil 55). Believing that Tolkien was trying t - o un derstand how Virgil had “revitalized” the epic form—which he sought to do as well in The Lord of the Rin — gsMorse singled out their common denominator as the two authors’ shared reliance on hE ivo stc o ar tiy ( on of Virgil 53). Further, Morse added, “The languages, geography, and political ties described in The Lord of the Rings are reminiscent of Rome, the Latin League, and Rome’s empire” ( Evocation of Virgil 45). This observation may come as no surprise: Tolkien had studied both Latin and Greek from the age of eleven at K ing Edward’s School and received a Classical Exhibition Prize at Exeter, where h - e http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tolkien Studies West Virginia University Press

Tolkien's Classical Beowulf and England's Heroic Age

Tolkien Studies, Volume 15 – Oct 27, 2018

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 West Virginia University Press.
ISSN
1547-3163

Abstract

Tolkien’s Classical Beowulf and England’s Heroic Age Jane Chance .R.R. Tolkien’s writing is not generally regarded today as having been greatly inu fl enced by the classics. However, in the mid--eight ies, Robert E. Morse noted that just as the modern poet “[T. S.] Eliot sees Vergil, not a Nordic myth, at the center of European civilization,” rather surprisingly, “if we look, we may find he is at the heart of Middle Earth” ( Evocation of Virgil 55). Believing that Tolkien was trying t - o un derstand how Virgil had “revitalized” the epic form—which he sought to do as well in The Lord of the Rin — gsMorse singled out their common denominator as the two authors’ shared reliance on hE ivo stc o ar tiy ( on of Virgil 53). Further, Morse added, “The languages, geography, and political ties described in The Lord of the Rings are reminiscent of Rome, the Latin League, and Rome’s empire” ( Evocation of Virgil 45). This observation may come as no surprise: Tolkien had studied both Latin and Greek from the age of eleven at K ing Edward’s School and received a Classical Exhibition Prize at Exeter, where h - e

Journal

Tolkien StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: Oct 27, 2018

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