W. H. Auden


Explores the interplay of good and evil in the story through the actions and motivations of species “capable of speech and therefore of moral reasoning,” and praises Tolkien for creating characters with a realistic moral balance. Makes the important observation that good characters can imagine being evil while evil characters cannot imagine being good. (Note that this piece is pre-Silmarillion and Auden’s assessment of the Elves is based only on LotR.) Reprinted in Critical Quarterly 10 (1968):138–42.

Copyright held by Artist



Mythcon 51: The Mythic, the Fantastic, and the Alien

Albuquerque, New Mexico • Postponed to: July 30 – August 2, 2021

Mythcon Conference