Heroes, Gods, and Virtues: a comparison and contrast of the heroes in the Aeneid and The Lord of the Rings

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Title: Heroes, Gods, and Virtues: a comparison and contrast of the heroes in the Aeneid and The Lord of the Rings
Author: Davis, Jason Larry
Advisors: Robert V. Young, Committee Chair
Christopher Cobb, Committee Member
Linda Holley, Committee Member
Abstract: The heroes in Virgil's Aeneid and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings are compared and contrasted. Some of the heroic characteristics that Tolkien instills in his characters are similar to Aeneas's, but the primary heroes—Frodo, Sam, Aragorn, and Gandalf—display particularly Christian virtues that complement and fulfill Virgil's pre-Christian ideals. The comparison begins with Aeneas's and Frodo's choices to leave Carthage and Lothlorien because those two cities pose similar temptations. However the protagonists' decisions have differing motivations. Motive marks the beginning of the contrast which then proceeds to analyze goals and hopes of the characters. The virtues advocated by the two authors are directly connected to the theologies at work in their plots, and the varying celestial powers and forces of evil are contrasted as well. Finally, the conclusions of the two works reveal the greatest difference between the heroes?the power and importance of mercy rather than strength.
Date: 2002-12-18
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1320


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