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MIDGARD AND MIDDLE-EARTH


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Sinopse

Seminar paper from the year 2014 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7, University of Heidelberg (Anglistisches Institut), course: Introduction to Fantasy Literature, language: English, abstract: The influence of the Edda, as an inspiration for stories, is wide spread across our modern culture. There are comic books and movies about the god of thunder Thor, books have been written that are set in the realm of Asgard or Midgard, and the influence of the old, Norse myths can clearly be seen in the texts of many bands, especially Metal bands, like Manowar or Amon Amarth. Another huge impact on story-telling is the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Many writers of our time are influenced by his world-building and of course the release of the movies based on his books made way for the fantasy genre to become known and loved by a broad audience. But even Tolkien has not invented his entire world out of thin air. It is reasonable to assume that he was, like many other artists, also influenced by Norse myths. The goal of this paper is to show that Tolkien's characters and the stories in 'The Lord of the Rings', 'The Hobbit' and 'The Silmarillion' are heavily influenced by the Edda and similar Norse myths. There will be a comparison of different characters, races and places in Middle-Earth and of the Edda. Other possible influences like Greek or Roman Mythology, classical fairy tales or the Arthurian Saga were surely important for the development of Middle-Earth and its inhabitants, but they have to be ignored in this essay. One of the most important aspects of Tolkien's creative work is of course the linguistic approach he took. There are several other works, even by Tolkien himself, that take a look on this aspect, but regarding the length of this paper this shall not be discussed. The essay starts with a comparison of Odin, the highest god in Norse mythology and characters of Tolkien, then goes to the race of dwarves, to finally look at other aspects of the story and how they might have their roots in the Edda.

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