Saturday, March 5, 2011

Romanticized Warfare

The whole idea of "romanticized warfare" was brought up in class this week - how, for example, the Rohirrim were all singing as they went into battle, and etc. Personally, I felt like it lent authenticity and concreteness to the culture and valor of the Men of Middle-earth, specifically Rohan, even though I know war isn't like that in real life at all. So, even though these battles are not taking place in our own world, what do you all personally feel about this kind of portrayal of war? Does it add to or take away any regard you feel for the validity of the race of Men in Middle-earth?


Radagast said...

I would probably agree with you that it adds to the validity. Like you said, war isn't like that in real life, but it seems to fit in their culture. For one thing, they seem to have a lot more songs woven into their lives already. They sing and have more rhymes that tell history and stuff like that. So, it almost seems appropriate for them to sing as they go to battle too. Also, I think it sort of fits in with this theme of hopeless courage. We know that at this point, pretty much no one still had any hope of winning, so they are all totally hopeless. Yet they are still willing to fight and want to go out fighting. I think this singing could be strengthening to them as they go into the battle; it builds up their courage and lets them have a certain relief of nerves maybe. So, I would say that it lends validity to Tolkien's men.

Elladan said...

I agree with all the above, but it is important to remember that Tolkien was a medievalist and these themes are woven throughout his works. Tolkien is portraying a different type of "war," there are no weapons of mass destruction, grenades, or automatic weapons. The closest thing to a tank would be an oliphaunt? I think it is the concept of good vs. evil and honorable combat that enthralls Tolkien, not that of modern warfare and killing.

Fingolfin said...

I agree with Elladan especially; I think that the Rohirrim singing adds to their heroism, and the fact that they are all willing to die in battle adds even more to this.