Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Hoeveler, Diane

Second Advisor

Block, Edwin

Third Advisor

Rivero, Albert


Tolkien scholarship has made significant advances in the last ten years, due in no small part to the contributions of scholars who were courageous enough to champion the literature that they loved even in the face of a certain established resistance. Classes on Tolkien now abound in American universities, appearing in the syllabuses of such prestigious universities as Duke, Rice, and Purdue; academic journals have devoted whole issues to scholarly examination of Tolkien's works, and the recent advent of Tolkien Studies puts the Professor in the same professional realm as other major British authors with eponymous journals devoted to the study of their lives and works. Tolkien has finally come into his own. It has been my privilege and delight to participate in the growing scholarly interest in Tolkien's work. However, I never imagined that I would be writing about death and dying. The idea came about, as such ideas often do, from a chance observation, made by Dr. Tom Shippey, that no one has ever made a detailed study of all the ways people die. He was speaking specifically of characters in the Old Norse sagas, but it occurred to me that, perhaps, such a study could be done for the characters of The Lord of the Rings. What seemed to me then a relatively straightforward undertaking turned out to be instead a rich and intricate field of study, filled with not only moments of dying and attitudes toward death, but with the importance of memory, the celebration of heroism and sacrifice, and above all the enduring power of hope. Because there are now so many editions of The Lord of the Rings available, I have followed the convention proposed by Tolkien Studies: volume, book, chapter, page. This formatting is intended to make it relatively easy for other scholars to find relevant quotes in their own copies. The edition I used for this project is in fact a single volume (exactly the way Tolkien wished it to be), so I have cited any quotes taken from the Preface, Introduction, or Appendices as "LR."...



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