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Study Guide

The Lord of the Rings Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 186 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Lord of the Rings.
This section contains 956 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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Themes

The Ring: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Lord Acton in the 1880s wrote, "Power Corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." When Sam urges Galadriel, "I think my master was right. I wish you'd take his ring. You'd put things to rights. You'd make some folk pay for their dirty work," Galadriel answers, "I would—That is how it would begin, but it would not stop at that, alas!" While many earlier philosophers and writers would have agreed, such a clear and unequivocal vision of the intrinsic dangers of power could only come with the sharply increasing ability of humans to control and destroy not only themselves, but the earth itself. The Ring is the embodiment of the will to power. It exists only to dominate. It corrupts, driving a wedge between the wearer and his own nature, let alone every other being, no matter how dear. Tolkien expresses this corruption in...

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This section contains 956 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Lord of the Rings Study Guide
Copyrights
The Lord of the Rings from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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