The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

J.R.R. Tolkien: The True Lord of the Rings 12th Grade

There is little doubt that J.R.R. Tolkien has become, in his short reign within literary fiction, nothing short of legendary. His stories, while only recently presented in blockbuster films, have ensnared and enthralled thousands of readers around the world. While many “cultured” critics still scoff at this work, the effect Tolkien has had on everyday readers is nearly as profound as the control he had over Middle Earth in his novels. Tolkien, while certainly a master of all elements of fiction, displayed unquestionable proficiency in the areas of character and setting.

Ann Charters defines character simply as “any person who plays a part in a narrative” (Charters 1045). Charters also defines flat characters as those which are, “simple, one-dimensional, unsurprising, and usually unchanging,” and round characters as those who are, “complex, full, described in detail, often contradictory, and usually dynamic,” or changing (Charters 1045). The interesting part of Tolkien’s work is that there are absolutely no flat characters. The world of Middle Earth is changing and all the creatures within it change as well. Tolkien’s ability to control the fates of the hundreds of characters in his novels may be the single most important aspect...

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