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Method Guide to SEMINARS 5-6 in LITERARY ANALYSIS

For the 2-nd year students of the English Department

Compiled by

Candidate of Philology Shkuropat M.Y.

Затверджено на засіданні

кафедри теорії літератури

та історії української літератури

(протокол №1 від 27.08.10

SEMINARS5-6

THE LORD OF THE RINGS

by J.R.R.Tolkien

TOPIC: Analysis of the key motif in a literary work.

Analysis of the culminating chapters of the trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings

SEMINAR 5

Question

1. What facts from the J.R.R. Tolkien’s biography can cast light onto the general understanding of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings?

ACTIVITY 1

Study the KEY FACTS of the trilogy and answer the BLITZ questions.

  1. What is the full title of the book? Titles of the volumes?

  2. What type of work is it? What genre?

  3. When and where was it written and first published?

  4. What is the setting time of the trilogy? What is the setting place?

  5. What type of narration and point of view is used?

  6. What is the key tone of the trilogy?

  7. Who is the protagonist? The antagonist? The main characters?

  8. What is the major conflict?

  9. What events make the rising action of the plot?

  10. What is the climax of the plot?

  11. What events make the falling action?

  12. What key themes, motives and symbols are in the trilogy?

  13. What is the role of an important plot technique foreshadowing? Provide examples.

ACTIVITY 2

Do the QUIZ.

ACTIVITY 3

Study the chief THEMES, MOTIFS AND SYMBOLS of the trilogy and speak on them.

ACTIVITY 4

Study the characteristics of the MAIN CHARACTERS and speak about the one most appealing to you.

ACTIVITY 5

Speak on the IMPLIED MEANINGS in the trilogy

ACTIVITY 6

6.1 Study sample analysis of the conflict between good and evil and answer the questions.

1.What physical embodiments of good and evil can be defined in the trilogy?

2. What does mental application of good vs. evil conflict involve?

3. How are good and evil recognized spiritually?

4. What does metaphorical use of darkness and light symbolize?

5. What biblical themes are interwoven in Tolkien’s books?

6.2 Read the analytical essay by Greg Harvey and get ready to answer the questions.

1. What function does the motif of light perform in the trilogy?

2. What is the function of the motif of shadow?

3. What metaphoric meaning has the word to shadow referring to Frodo?

4. How does the motif of light and shadow influence the general atmosphere and tone of the trilogy, the reader’s understanding of conflict between good and evil?

5. Yow does the conflict of good vs. evil reflect Tolkien's attitudes toward warfare?

SEMINAR 6

ACTIVITY 1

1.1 Read the abstracts from the book Lord Of the Rings, Volume 3 Return of the King, Chapters 2,3,4

1.2 Think about the importance of the motif of light and darkness in these chapters.

  1. What semantic chains of words develop the motif of light and darkness?

  2. What motif introduces the idea of change?

  3. What literary elements, images and motifs help to convey the idea of the on-coming victory of good over evil?

ACTIVITY 2

1.1 Read the summaries and the sample analysis of the chapters.

1.2 Answer the questions.

  1. What kind of character does Sam emerge in chapter 2?

  2. What metaphorical significance has his trade of a gardener?

  3. What virtues does Sam exercise?

  4. How does the Ring function as a physical object symbolizing evil?

  5. What element of the plot is observed in the chapter Mount Doom? What markings allow to define it?

  6. Comment on the meaning of Gandalf’s words: Even Gollum may have something yet to do.

  7. How does the balance between light and darkness change in Chapter VI? What does it suggest?

  8. What image marks the vanishing of the dark age? What does it symbolize?

ACTIVITY 3

1.1 Read the analytical essay by and Steven D. Greydanus

1.2 Answer the questions.

  1. How can The Lord of the Rings be viewed as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work" if there isn’t any mention of religion, Church, Christ, or even God in its pages?

  2. How is evil depicted in The Lord of the Ring? What evil characters of the book make it clear?

  3. What does the scene on the Mount Doom, culminating the end of the Quest mean form Christian point of view?

  4. How can the characters of Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn be symbolically defined as embodiment of one of the three aspects of Christ’s ministry as priest, prophet, and king?

Contents

SEMINAR 5 6

LITERARY TERMS 6

KEY literary technique 6

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 7

KEY FACTS 7

QUIZ 9

THEMES, MOTIFS, AND SYMBOLS 10

THEMES 11

MOTIFS 14

SYMBOLS 16

IMPLIED MEANINGS 18

ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS 18

STUDY QUESTIONS 22

Study Question 1 22

Study Question 2 23

ANALYSIS OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL IN THE TRILOGY 23

EXAMINING THE BATTLE OF GOOD vs. EVIL IN TOLKIEN'S MIDDLE-EARTH by Greg Harvey 25

REFERENCES 26

SEMINAR 6 28

THE RETURN OF THE KING (BookVI) 28

Book VI, Chapter 2 The Land of Shadow (shortened) 28

Chapter 2 Summary 35

Analysis 36

Book VI, Chapter 3 Mount Doom (shortened) 37

Chapter 3 Summary 44

Analysis 45

Book VI, Chapter 4 The Field of Cormallen (shortened) 46

Chapter 4 Summary 47

Analysis 48

IMPORTANT QUOTATIONS EXPLAINED 48

Explanation for Quotation 1 48

Explanation for Quotation 2 49

FAITH AND FANTASY: TOLKIEN THE CATHOLIC, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, AND PETER JACKSON’S FILM TRILOGY Steven D. Greydanus 49

Creation and corruption in Middle-earth 49

"The Shadow mocks, it cannot make" 50

"Something else at work" 51

Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn: Priest, prophet, king 51

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING 52

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