The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Parallels Between Gandalf and Saruman: Good and Evil College

The relationship between Gandalf and Saruman in J. R. R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy The Lord of the Rings is not only a depiction of good versus evil, but a depiction of the corruption of magic and power. Gandalf and Saruman are two incredibly powerful wizards, both of which are looked up to by many throughout the novel, in both admiration and in fear. Gandalf and Saruman began their journeys as wizards on the White Council together, using their powers for the greater good. However, once greed, jealousy, and a fierce desire for power set in, Saruman started to use his magic for evil, and began plotting to take over Middle-Earth by joining forces in an attempt to unleash the Dark Lord, Sauron. It can be debated who the stronger, or more powerful wizard is between Gandalf or Saruman, thus why Tolkien demonstrates the pair of wizards as a juxtaposition to represent both the good, and the evil side of magic and power. Despite their obvious physical similarities, Saruman can be seen as a representation of Gandalf’s ‘evil twin’ who willingly turned into a villain once he submitted to the temptation of greater power, supremacy, and domination.

In The Lord of the Rings, there are only two sides — good and evil. Those who are depicted...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 861 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6531 literature essays, 1773 sample college application essays, 268 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.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in