The Fellowship of the Ring
Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. In what ways is The Lord of the Rings a typical quest narrative? In what ways is it not?
2. The novel is full of songs, most of which are transcribed in full. Discuss the significance of these songs and the way in which they are presented.
3. Discuss Tolkien’s depictions of the natural world in the novel. How do the various societies of Middle-earth interact with the nature that surrounds them? Is nature a benevolent or malevolent force?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. How would Tolkien define good? How would he define evil? Use examples from the text to support your answer.
2. Explain the distinction Tolkien makes between knowledge and wisdom.
3. Tolkien was a devout Catholic. What elements of his novel might be traced to a Catholic worldview?
4. Discuss the significance of the fact that Frodo, the Ring-bearer, and his closest companions are Hobbits rather than Elves, Men, or some other, more powerful race.
5. What does Sauron’s Ruling Ring signify?
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