Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Understanding Influences

Does an understanding of Tolkien's medieval sources influence or change your understanding of Tolkien's fictional works? Is it important to study such influences in a class such as ours? Why or why not?

3 comments:

Elwing said...

I think it is important to understand the medieval influences on Tolkien's work in order to more fully appreciate Tolkien's ability as a writer. Specifically, reading Mallory was somewhat torturous for me, but I liked the idea brought up in class of Aragorn being a negative example of Arthur. This makes a lot of sense to me, and I am glad that Tolkien was able to wirte a much better, somewhat medieval tale.

Idril said...

I too felt it important to understand Tolkien's medieval influences. Both Beowulf and Mallory helped me understand Tolkien's background as a writer, scholar, and an Englishman. Knowing the other "mythological" roots of England and the surrounding areas revealed why Tolkien felt the need to create a mythology of his own. Before reading Beowulf and the Mallory, I viewed Tolkien as an exceptional fantasy writer. Understanding his intellectual background only improved my liking for his works.

Finwe said...

I think reading some medieval texts definitely brought to light some of the medieval themes present in Tolkien's works. Such as the quest and slaying the evil monster of a dragon or Sauron. It is important to understand the medieval works that influences Tolkien's works.