Literary Precedents for The Return of the King

This Study Guide consists of approximately 10 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Return of the King.
This section contains 218 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Return of the King Short Guide

Many of the names and incidents contained in The Two Towers, and elsewhere in Tolkien's work, can be traced back to Richard Wagner's nineteenth century opera The Ring of the Nibelung—in fact, the very concept of an all-powerful ring of gold likely derives from this source. Although differing from the opera in many different and important ways outside of form, Tolkien clearly borrowed significantly from Wagner's work. However, Wagner's work was itself based on Norse mythology, a subject Tolkien knew well first-hand as an Oxford professor; therefore, knowing what in The Two Towers to attribute to Wagner and what to the "original" myth becomes problematic at best.

Tolkien's work can, in fact, best be compared to other collections of myth, as the rewriting of cultural myth is what Tolkien attempted to accomplish. Perhaps the best known example of such a mythical work is the Arthurian legends...

(read more)

This section contains 218 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Return of the King Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Return of the King from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook