Applies Rene Girard’s mimetic theory to a study of Frodo’s motivations and role models in the early phases of The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s incorporation of extensive background material deepens our understanding of his main characters, most of all his central hero, Frodo. Commonly described as “role-models,” external mediators work to pacify relations in a community, and act to endow individuals with meaning, purpose, and direction they otherwise would not have. By the imitation of role-models, Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merry become real to Tolkien’s readers by comparison and contrast to Bilbo Baggins, Gildor and his high elves, Tom Bombadil and ultimately, the long-lost Eärendil. Tolkien arrived at similar insights to Girard by drawing upon his legacy of classical and Catholic education.

Copyright held by Artist



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.