Sunday, February 6, 2011
Lust for power, or evil nature?
In the Lord of the Rings, great and mostly benevolent people are either warned against using the ring or refuse to wield it based on their own wisdom. Gandalf is a notable example. I was considering the following question: does Tolkien believe that too great of power inevitably corrupts even the best intentions or is the ring simply an evil power that hijacks the will of the good? Strong evidence exists for the for the former. When Boromir suggests using the ring for good, Elrond replies "Alas, no... It belongs to Sauron... and is altogether evil." However, later in the passage he suggests that Saruman was corrupted by mere lust for the ring. This seems more ambiguous. Either the ring acts over any distance if only thought it bent on it or Saruman turned evil just by lust of power. I feel that it may be a combination of those too explanations and more. If anyone wants to share opinions the passage I looked at that has a lot of dialogue pertaining to this is about 30 paragraphs from the end of "The Council of Elrond."