I am not dedicating this post to a particular free write. Instead, I am using all three free writes collectively to come up with good examples of “hopeless courage” turning despair into hope:
At one point, Eomer and looked at the enemy ships approaching and realized the hopelessness of the situation. However, Eomer still possesses hopeless courage: “even as he laughed at despair, he looked out again on the black ships, and he lifted up his sword to defy them.” As it turns out, Aragoron, Gimli, Legolas, and the dead were on the ship, instead. Thus, despair and hopeless courage were instantly followed by hope for victory.
When Sam attacks Shelob, he shows his hopeless courage. Even with his master paralyzed (thought dead) in a dark cave, Sam still musters up the courage in this hopeless situation to confront and defeat (temporarily) Shelob. Afterwards, Sam displays this courage again while rescuing Frodo. Even in despair, Sam’s “hopeless courage” kept a fool’s hope of destroying the ring alive.
In the battle of Helm’s deep, the men of Rohan fought on. This hopeless courage provides enough stall time for Gandalf (the white rider [disputably the color of hope]) to come and save the day. Once again, “hopeless courage” turns despair to hope.
Do you have any good or even better examples of this?
Think of the ways hopeless courage applies to: Gandalf against Balrog, Eowen and Merry against witch king, Merry and Pippin (becoming warriors), etc.
How much worse would the story end in this fools hope was not prevalent throughout it all?
Doesn’t Frodo have to have “hopeless courage” or a fool’s hope as Gandalf puts it just to never give up until the ring is destroyed? Tolkien seems to use this theme to suggest that you should never give up, despite the circumstances.
In my freewrites, I also touched on the following:
The little things or significance of the seemingly insignificant seems to supplement this theme of hopeless courage. What do you think?
How do you think it all ties in? What is Tolkien trying to convey? If you never give up, can you turn despair into hope?