Tolkien scholars have long studied the many connections between Beowulf and J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. This essay explores the novel’s representation of heroism and monstrousness and the ideal of kingship in relation to the Old English poem. Parallel descriptions between heroes and monsters illustrate that neither Beowulf nor Thorin is immune to monstrousness, but analyzing their actions in light of Hrothgar’s advice to Beowulf illustrates that both characters distinguish themselves as great kings and heroes. Moreover, how these characters resist evil varies greatly and reveals a core distinction between the Beowulfian and Tolkienian hero, and even highlights the importance of hope in Tolkien’s works and his emphasis on what he termed eucatastrophe, rather than the elegiac tone of Beowulf.
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