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- Tolkien and Shakespeare
However, there is also a category b , since in some families it was the custom to give children 'high-sounding' first names drawn from ancient legend. Tolkien says that he has not retained these but translated them, using such faded legendary names as Meriadoc, Peregrin, Fredegar, which do not sound like, but have the same sort of feel as their hobbit originals. The question is, what sort of name is Frodo--the one name out of all the prominent hobbit characters in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings which Tolkien does not mention or discuss?
Possibly the reason is that Frodo is in a one-member category of his own, category c. His name looks like one of the meaningless ones, such as Bilbo, in which case it would have been, not Frodo, but Froda. However, Froda is not a meaningless name. Just like Meriadoc or Fredegar, it is a name from the heroic literature of the past, though it is one which, significantly, and appropriately to Frodo's character, has been all but entirely forgotten. Froda was the father of the hero Ingeld whose legend the monks of Lindisfarne were censured for listening to; Beowulf refers to Ingeld, once, as 'the fortunate son of Froda', and that is all we ever hear about him in Old English.
According to both Saxo Grammaticus c. It came to an end because the peace really came from the magic mill of Frothi, which he used to grind out peace and prosperity; but in the end he refused to give the giantesses who turned the mill for him any rest, and they rebelled and ground out instead an army to kill Frothi and take his gold. Their magic mill is still grinding at the bottom of the Maelstrom, says Norwegian folk-legend, but now it grinds out salt, and that is why the sea is salty.
Has this story anything, other than the names, to do with either Beowulf or The Lord of the Rings?
MERLIN the Electronic Wizard 1978 vintage Parker Brothers Works W/ Manual
One point that may have struck Tolkien is the total contrast between Froda and Ingeld, father and son. The former is a man of peace, the latter the defining image, in the Northern heroic world, of the man who would not give up the obligations of vengeance no matter what this cost him.
There is something sad, ironic, and true about the fact that Ingjaldr remained a popular Norse name for generations, and even the monks of Lindisfarne wanted to hear about him, while the story of his peaceful father was rapidly turned into a parable of futility. Frothi, furthermore, is not only a contemporary of Christ, but also an analogue of course a failed analogue , one who tries without ultimate success to put an end to the cycles of war and vengeance and heroism.
He fails both personally, in being killed, and ideologically, in that his son and his people return gleefully to the bad old ways of revenge and hatred, and paganism. For after all the 'peace of Frothi' could just have been an accident, an unrealized reflection of the Coming of Christ, about which the pagans never learned. All this seems strongly relevant to Tolkien's Frodo.
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At the start he is, one may say without impoliteness, a 'good average' hobbit, no more aggressive than the rest of them--there has never been a murder in the Shire--but capable of self-defence. He thinks it a pity that Bilbo did not kill Gollum when he had the chance. A few pages later he throws even that weapon away, declaring 'I'll bear no weapon, fair or foul'. By this time Frodo has become almost a pacifist.
In 'The Scouring of the Shire' he speaks up defiantly several times--till the moment when Pippin draws his sword to avenge the squint-eyed ruffian's insult. Then, though Merry and Sam also draw and go forward in support, 'Frodo did not move'.
Was Tolkien a "Christian Writer"? Dante, Will, and Tolkien Compared - Brian Overland
After that he speaks up in defence even of Lotho, reminds the others that 'there is to be no slaying of hobbits No hobbit has ever killed another on purpose in the Shire', but then in effect withdraws, saying nothing at all in reply to Merry's 'I knew we should have to fight'. At the Battle of Bywater he does not draw sword, and his main concern is to prevent angry hobbits from killing their prisoners.
Even in this there is a touch of passivity. Talking to Merry who disagrees and tells him he cannot save the Shire just by being 'shocked and sad' , Frodo is capable of giving an order, 'Keep your tempers and hold your hands'.
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But as the Battle of Bywater approaches, and Merry blows his horn and the bystanders cheer, Frodo seems increasingly sidelined:. The last two clauses indicate that Frodo has not gone all the way to pure pacifism perhaps inconceivable to a man of Tolkien's background , but 'All the same' seems to concede that an argument has already been lost; 'to all those who stood near' suggests that Frodo is no longer very assertive even in his rejection of force.
In the end all he says to Merry is 'Very good You make the arrangements'. He forbids anyone to kill Saruman, and tries to rescue even the murderer and cannibal Wormtongue, but the decisions are taken out of his hands first by Wormtongue and then by the hobbit archers. All this has its effect on the way he is perceived in the Shire. As said above, Sam is 'pained' by the way in which Frodo is supplanted by the large and 'lordly' hobbits, Pippin and Merry, and by seeing 'how little honour he had in his own country'. It is prophets who proverbially have no honour in their own country, and Frodo functions increasingly as a seer rather than a hero.
Even in other countries the honour he has is of the wrong sort. One remembers Ioreth telling her cousin in Gondor that Frodo 'went with only his esquire into the Black Country and fought with the Dark Lord all by himself, and set fire to his Tower, if you can believe it. At least that is the tale in the City.
J.R.R. Tolkien's Gandalf and Saruman in the tradition of Shakespeare's Prospero
One wonders what the minstrel said in the lay of 'Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom', but whatever it was, it was forgotten. The end of Frodo's quest, in the memory of Middle-earth, is nothing. Bilbo dwindles into 'mad Baggins', a figure of folklore, the elves and dwarves percolate through to our world in legends of shape-shifters and sword-makers, even 'the Dark Tower' is remembered in a fragment from 'poor Tom' in King Lear. What has Ingeld to do with Christ, asked Alcuin, and the answer is, obviously, 'nothing'.
But Froda has to do with both, father of one, analogue of the other.
Tolkien and Shakespeare
He is a hinge, a mediation: and so is Tolkien's Frodo, the middle-most character in all of Middle-earth. It would be quite wrong to suggest that he is a Christ-figure, an allegory of Christ, any more than the Ring is one of nuclear power--the differences, as Tolkien pointed out in the latter case and easily could have in the former, are more obvious than the similarities. Yet he represents something related: perhaps, an image of natural humanity trying to do its best in native decency, trying to find its way from inertia the Shire past mere furious heroic dauntlessness Boromir and the rest to some limited success, and doing it without the resources of the heroes and the longaevi, like Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli.
He has to do so furthermore by destroying the Ring, which is merely secular power and ambition, and he does so with no certain faith in rescue or salvation from outside, from beyond 'the circles of the world'. In this he is once again a highly contemporary figure, an image suitable for a society which as Tolkien knew perfectly well had largely lost religious faith and had no developed theory to put in its place.
Could 'native decency' be enough? As a Christian, Tolkien was bound to say 'no', as a scholar of pagan and near-pagan literature he could not help seeing that there had been virtue, and a wish for something more, even among pagans. The myth, or story, that he created expresses both hope and sadness. It is a mark of its success that it has been appreciated by many who share its author's real beliefs, but by even more who do not. One of the differences between applicability and allegory, between myth and legend, must be that myth and applicability are timeless, allegory and legend time-constrained.
The difference of course is not an absolute one, and a story can have elements of both at the same time: Saruman, and the Master of Laketown, are both examples of something which one can recognize as having a timeless quality, likely to reappear among human beings in any Age of the world, and which one can readily apply to modern times in particular. This does not mean that they stop having roles in a single, one-moment-in-time story, and it would be unfortunate if they did, for they would fade away to becoming mere labelled abstractions.
Fortunately there are, scattered through The Lord of the Rings, demonstrations of Tolkien's attitude to individual time and to mythic timelessness. They are often related to a subject not yet discussed with relation to either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, but of major importance to both, and to Tolkien: Tolkien's poetry. The poetry of the Shire in particular--plain, simple, straight-forward in theme and expression--seems continuously variable. It is obviously closely related to that particular situation.
Bilbo sings:. Bilbo is here singing about something which he is just about to do; and 'the door where it began' in line 2 is the door he is standing at, the door on which Gandalf put the secret mark for the dwarves many years before, when indeed Bilbo's adventures began. The next time we encounter the poem, though, it is Frodo who sings it, just before the hobbits' first encounter with a Ringwraith, and there are two significant changes: Frodo does not sing, he speaks, and he does not say 'eager feet', he says 'weary feet'.
Whose version is correct? Obviously, either. One could say just that Frodo has adapted Bilbo's song to suit his own less happy and hopeful circumstances, but then it is quite possible that Bilbo did the same thing himself.
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As soon as Frodo has finished, Pippin says: 'That sounds like a bit of old Bilbo's rhyming Or is it one of your imitations? It does not sound altogether encouraging. It came to me then, as if I was making it up, but I may have heard it long ago. But this does not mean that Bilbo made it up, or not that he made all of it up.