Dr. Jane Chance
J.R.R. Tolkien is now recognized as one of the greatest writers
of the twentieth century for his masterpiece, Lord of the Rings
(written during a period from the end of the thirties to the
early fifties). As an Oxford Professor and eminent medievalist,
he wrote out of what he knew about Old English, Old Norse, and
Middle English literature. As a contemporary of T.S. Eliot, George
Orwell, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, and other modernists, he
wrote out of what he had lived through. The course will trace the tension between the exile, or the wraecca , and the community, between otherness and heroism, between identity and marginalization, between revenge and forgiveness.
To locate The Lord of the Rings within a broader historical
and literary context, we will trace the development of his art,
beginning with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as a mythology for England, following up with The Silmarillion, and then investigating his works on fantasy and mythmaking, such as "Mythopoiea,"
"Leaf by Niggle," "On Fairy-Stories." Clearly evident will be his interest in medievalness--especially the Old English Beowulf.
and films of and about Tolkien and his writings will supplement
readings and discussions.
Requirements: Class attendance is mandatory; your grade will be based on class participation/quizzes; 5 essays (2-3
and a final exam.
Jan. 12 Mon. and Jan. 14 Wed.
Read Letters #43, 163, 199, 213
Jan. 16 Fri. The Origin of the Name "Hobbit" and the Structure of the Children's Story
Jan. 19 Mon. Martin Luther King Day
Jan. 21 Wed. The Heroism of Bilbo Baggins
Jan. 23 Fri.The Origins of Tolkien's Heroism: The Anglo-Saxon Beowulf
Jan. 26 Mon. and Jan. 28 Wed. Exile and Heroism
Jan. 30 Fri. Film: Tolkien Remembered Paper #1 Due
Feb. 2 Mon. The Composition of LOTR and the Issue of Allegory
Feb. 4 Wed. The Hobbit and the Fellowship
Feb. 6 Fri. Structure and Cartography
Feb. 9 Mon. The Hobbit: The Development of Frodo as Hero
Feb. 11 Wed. The Rings of Power and Power in Middle-earth
Feb. 16 & 18 Mon. and Wed. Religiosity and the Valar: The Elves, Galadriel
Feb. 20 Fri.
Saruman and Gandalf. Two Wizards
Feb. 23 Mon.
Feb. 27 Fri. Gollum/Smeagol
Mar. 9 Mon. (See above)
Mar. 11 Wed. Male Society and Women: Eowyn and Shelob Paper # 3 Due
Mar. 13 Fri. Aragorn and Providence, Determinism, and Free Will
Mar. 16 Mon.
Mar. 18 Wed. War and Pacifism
Mar. 20 Fri. Samwise Gamgee
Mar. 25 Wed. The Return: "Home Again"
Mar. 27 Fri.
Mar. 30 Mon. Tolkien's Artwork
April 10 Fri. Spring Recess
April 13 Mon.
April 15 Wed.
April 20 Mon. On Fairy-Stories and Mythopoeia
Read Tolkien, "On Fairy-Stories" (in the Reader), including excerpts from "Mythopoeia"
April 22 Wed. "Leaf by Niggle": The Faerie Paradise?
Read Tolkien, "Leaf by Niggle" (in the Reader)
April 24 Fri.
Office Hours 11-12 AM Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and by appointment
Office 301 Rayzor Hall
Office Phone 527-8101 X2625
Department Phone (for messages): 527-4840
Dr. Chance: email@example.com
Homepage (through Riceinfo; syllabus, readings, pictures, etc.
this page was last updated on Oct. 27, 1997