Sting and Bilbo: Significance of the Small in The Hobbit 11th Grade
Bilbo’s sword, Sting, plays a large role in The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien -- a role that almost appears to be incongruous for its size. Through each one of its appearances, Sting’s increased significance as a plot element simultaneously symbolizes steps forward in Bilbo’s journey in becoming a true hero. The roles of the weapon with overlooked potentials and the hobbit with underestimated abilities eventually are revealed to be more significant than imagined.
Bilbo’s encounter with the trolls is what leads to the discovery of Sting. Because his experience with the trolls is his first encounter with the true perils of the world outside the Shire, Bilbo's actions reflect those of a typical hobbit with an easy, sheltered life. Although he escapes the trolls alive, he is painted as a character of extreme cowardice in this part of the novel, as he hides in a bush while his dwarf-friends take on the statuses of future troll-fodder. Nevertheless, after the trolls are turned into stone, his success in overcoming his first taste of danger is rewarded with the discovery of Sting in the troll’s cave. Compared to the other precious elvin-made swords found in the cave, Sting appears insignificant, as it “would have made only a tiny...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 754 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4809 literature essays, 1497 sample college application essays, 189 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in