English and Modern Languages
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Karen S. Prior
Beauty, Campbell, hero, myth, Tolkien, Truth
Creative Writing | Modern Literature
Chichester, Christine Loraine, "Samwise Gamgee: Beauty, Truth, and Heroism in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings" (2015). Masters Theses. 387.
The Lord of the Rings is a well-established part of fantasy's literary canon because of J.R.R. Tolkien's creative imaginary setting and his use of legendary characters. However, this story, and in particular, its use of the archetypal hero's journey deals not only in the Beauty of myth, but also in the universal Truth of Story. Tolkien combines aspects of well-established archetypes with unchanging Truth in order to create a fitting and ultimately Good depiction of heroism. This thesis seeks to examine how Samwise Gamgee, an unexpected hero, experiences or does not experience the stages of Joseph Campbell's Adventure of the Hero with the intention of discovering how both Truth and Beauty play into unconventional heroism.