Mythical Figures in "The Lord of the Rings"

            The Role of the Mythical Figure Elbereth within "The Lord of the Rings”.

             "The Lord of the Rings” is a long prose narrative, which exerted a great influence on the development of the fantasy literature during the twentieth century. The novelistic style of the book is reflected in the psychological development of the characters, in their thoughts and emotions, in the use of realistic elements that exist in our routine life. At the same time, this modern fantasy novel contains in itself a variety of genres that come up throughout the story. There are fairy-tale creatures, elves and dwarves, trolls and goblins, which surround the men and hobbits and together participate in the development of epic themes like the shift of power or the cosmic war between the good and the evil. There is, as well, a dose of quest-romance within the novel, which comes up in the Aragorn/Arwen relationship, for the narration of which Tolkien used a more poetic style. Yet there is another genre at a further level in the book, the genre of myth. I will explore the important role of the mythical figure, Elbereth, in shaping the historical events on Middle-earth. .

             In "The Lord of the Rings”, the name of Elbereth comes up at several crucial points of the plot development and she is revealed as one of the mythical figures within the larger environment of Middle-earth. Tolkien has used several genre criteria, demonstrating that Elbereth is a mythical character. In "The Silmarillion”, Tolkien introduces the 'creation myth' and the hierarchy of God and the divine powers. The myth tells of Iluvatar, the One who creates the world and shapes all events according to his own will. However, he dwells in the remote Timeless Halls and very rarely intervenes in the destinies of his creatures. Instead, Iluvatar prefers to work through the help of his Valar or Ainur. The Valar are fifteen and were created by his spirit before the creation of anything else.

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