Depicting Evil The Lord Of The Rings English Literature Essay

This essay aims to analyze the usage of linguistic communication and literary devices in picturing immorality in J.R.R Tolkien ‘s The Lord of the Rings trilogy by specifically placing and analyzing the usage of linguistic communication, imagination and duologue in integrating the ubiquity of immorality into characters such as Sauron and his Orcs, symbolic artefacts such as the One Ring, and description of scenes such as the Black Gate, the stepss of Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul compared to its old visual aspect as Minas Ithil, and Mount Doom.

Evil is a construct whose importance has non been diminished through clip, and Tolkien ‘s representation of it can still be analysed and interpreted today through the linguistic communication, imagination and duologue used. The subject itself is one of the most normally explored in literature, in both older and more modern pieces of work, a motive often used to heighten secret plan, character and scene.

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The range of this survey is limited to analyzing specific illustrations of literary devices, chiefly linguistic communication, imagination and duologue in regard to the characters, artefacts and scenes listed supra, to let for effectual analysis with respect to the construct of immorality within the specified word bound.

Probe was undertaken by turn uping specific illustrations where Tolkien employed the usage of linguistic communication and literary devices to picture the subject of immorality, and analyzing selected illustrations to portray the ubiquity of immorality throughout the novel.

This essay concludes that through the word picture of characters including Sauron and his orcs, every bit good as description of puting such as assorted landmarks in the part of Mordor and artefacts such as the One Ring, enhanced via usage of linguistic communication techniques and literary devices including imagination, coloring material, symbolism and duologue, Tolkien is able to successfully portray the subject of evil throughout this trilogy.

Word Count: 292

Table of Contentss

Introduction 5

Main Body 7

Decision 18

Reference List 19


Throughout his heroic poem trilogy The Lord of the Rings consisting of three novels: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and the concluding novel, The Return of the King, J.R.R Tolkien uses a assortment of linguistic communication techniques and literary devices in order to adequately picture the subject of immorality. Words he uses in context show in-depth significance, and accepting the significances of his composing merely at face value would therefore deny the reader the chance to appreciate this trilogy as a whole. One portion of his work is his geographic expedition of the construct of immorality, a construct which is as of import in modern society as it was when The Lord of the Rings was written. First published nine old ages after the decision of World War II, certain critics see Tolkien ‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy as a contemplation of the political state of affairs during the war. Since this trilogy was written during and following the wake of the Second World War, it is likely that occurrences that took topographic point during that timeframe would significantly impact the writer ‘s perceptual experience of immorality. In today ‘s society, cultural diverseness plays a important function in a individual ‘s reading of immorality, and although fortunes define evil in a somewhat different context, its representation can be associated with older signifiers of literature, such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The subject itself is one of the most normally explored in literature, runing from classical calamities like Oedipus the King, to religious centric literature such as Psychomachia to inner evil struggles like that explored in Heart of Darkness, and classical literature where immorality is explored in more revelatory signifiers like The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The absorbing image of immorality that Tolkien nowadayss entices readers of changing ages. The ubiquity of immorality throughout the trilogy is one of the many compelling thoughts Tolkien has incorporated into his work, cardinal to character and plot development. The usage of linguistic communication and literary devices in picturing immorality in Tolkien ‘s The Lord of the Rings trilogy is representative of his reading and word picture of immorality, through the word picture of Sauron, every bit good as the word picture of his retainers, the orcs. Evil is non merely depicted in the signifier of characters, but besides in the signifier of artefacts, such as the Ring of Power, and puting such as the part of Mordor.

Main Body

Tolkien uses many characters to exemplify manifestations of immorality in his trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Orcs are one illustration of this. Orcs, misshapen warlike android animals, are retainers of the Godheads of the Black and White towers: Sauron and Saruman. Once elves, they were tortured and deformed till they became loyal retainers. The word “ orc ” is derived from the Old English word ‘demon ‘ and is used by Tolkien to depict these monsters. They are besides referred to as ‘Yrch ‘ by the elves. The word itself is derived from the Elvish word “ ruk ” , intending fright and horror ; mentioning to a devil. Their tegument is darkened, as if burned. Fire represents strength, badness, passion and torture, bespeaking the nature and character of this peculiar animal. Fires can besides be seen as a representation of immorality, in mention to hellfire, a penalty of kinds for the offenses that they commit, whether by their ain will or non. In scriptural footings, fire is used for arrant devastation, as ‘Sodom and Gomorrha were destroyed by fire and native sulfur and are now set Forth as “ an illustration, enduring the retribution of ageless fire. ” Through assorted names and readings, snake pit has come to be interpreted as an residence for immorality in the hereafter, and therefore a representation of the kernel of the immorality it contains. Tolkien ‘s portraiture of orcs shows this kernel of immorality in their visual aspect, every bit good as their character and behavior. Orcs are ab initio described by Tolkien as holding “ a immense arm and shoulder, with a dark tegument of light-green graduated tables, was thrust through the broadening spread. Then a great, level, toeless pes was forced through below. ” Portrayed as big animals in comparing with other characters present in the trilogy, their size indicates both power and greed. In phantasy, evil characters are frequently depicted as immense in size in order to accurately picture their immorality and power. They besides appear deformed. Their natural signifier has been spoiled and disfigured ; modified to suite their maps. This is declarative un the usage of the coloring material viridity and relates to its symbolism of nature, and the image presented of its deformation. The darkness of the tegument represents immorality in itself. It alludes to the coloring material black, which is a cryptic coloring material, denoted with strength, and aggressiveness. Tolkien ‘s descriptive linguistic communication and usage of coloring material imagination and fire to portray the orcs ‘ visual aspects in the trilogy serves to heighten their the word picture of their immorality.

The aggressiveness of the orcs is portrayed in their duologue, every bit good as their actions. Although on occasion falling into their ain lingua, they largely use Common Speech. An illustration of this is demonstrated during Pippin ‘s initial conversation with an orc that captured him and Merry: “ I ‘d do you whine, you suffering rat. ” A rat is a long tailed gnawer that resembles a mouse in visual aspect, but is besides a word used to depict “ a ugly individual, particularly one who betrays or informs upon associates. ” The usage of the word shows the orc ‘s attitude towards creatures he feels are inferior to him. This comment is punctuated by the orc demoing his xanthous Fangs and a jaggy black knife. A dull shadiness of xanthous symbolises decay and illness, touching to the moral decay normally associated with the definition of immorality. Large knives, such as the 1 mentioned, signify power. Designed to be used in combat, knives such as this are deadly tools of devastation. A jagged border besides causes more harm than a smooth one, even though smooth borders are crisp. His comment indicates that he still might transport out his menace, irrespective of his orders. His harsh words besides signify a deficiency of love and compassion. In certain facets, immorality is considered any act that defies the Torahs of human morality. Hate and distance are features that are ( depending on the fortunes ) considered immoral, and therefore contribute to an person ‘s perceptual experience of immorality. Orcs are non portrayed as immorality in their ain right, but instead as tools of immorality ; objects used by others such as Sauron and Saruman to derive power. Orcs are bound in servitude to the Godheads of the black and white towers, Sauron and Saruman. Having small free will of their ain, they are forced to execute the undertakings they are ordered to transport out. Their actions, every bit good as their mode of address, serve to reenforce the ubiquity of immorality in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The subject of immorality is besides depicted through the word picture of the trilogy ‘s chief scoundrel, Sauron. As Godhead of the Black Tower, he is deemed as the Enemy of the free people of Middle Earth. His name is derived from the Elvish word “ thaura ” significance abhorrent, and literally means “ the Abhorred ” . Originating from the English word “ abhor ” , and intending “ to see with horror or abhorrence ” , Sauron is an appropriate name for his character. Nowhere in The Lord of the Rings does Tolkien supply a elaborate description of Sauron ; in the 3rd age, he ne’er even manifested in pure physical signifier. However, the image most connected to Sauron is the “ Eye ” , located at the top of the tower of Barad-dur in Mordor. This oculus is first described by Tolkien in a vision Frodo has while staring into the Mirror of Galadriel. “ The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat ‘s, alert and purpose, and the black slit of its student opened on a cavity, a window into nil. ” An oculus is an organ of vision, associated with attending. In this context, it represents Sauron ‘s attending ; with it, he is able to see events of involvement across Middle Earth. His vision nevertheless is n’t perfect, being obscured by Elven thaumaturgy, nature and secretiveness. Fire represents a powerful strength, every bit good as penalty. Although intense, the fiery Eye lacks animation. Naturally, the glaze of the Eye would impact the lucidity of Sauron ‘s vision. The coloring material of this oculus is a dull yellow, similar to the coloring material of a cat ‘s oculus. This peculiar shadiness of xanthous represents decay, cautiousness, illness, and green-eyed monster, giving the readers an indicant of Sauron ‘s nature. He craves power and control, therefore the ground he created the One Ring, and would presumptively be covetous of any other who holds power he has no entree to. But the Eye is n’t to the full xanthous ; it besides contains a student, described as a “ black slit ” . Black usually presents a negative intension, mentioning to evil, enigma, and decease. It besides indicates perceptual experience and deepness, and in anatomical footings, the student of an oculus is black in order to let visible radiation to go through through. The possible transition for visible radiation is an indicant of hope in the desperation that Sauron instigates upon the bulk of the “ free ” population of Middle Earth. A cavity is a mention to “ a suffering or cheerless topographic point or state of affairs ” . It is besides an allusion of the Hellfire, foregrounding the extent of Sauron ‘s immorality. Throughout the secret plan of The Lord of the Rings, non one time is there reference of Sauron of all time prosecuting in any kind of duologue or activity in the traditional sense of a character prosecuting straight with other characters and events in the novel. His oculus merely follows events of involvement happening about Middle Earth, and yet a simple reference of his name or topographic point of abode is adequate to raise fright in others. “ Do non talk that name so aloud! ‘ said Strider ” in response to the name of Sauron ‘s fastness being mentioned. The linguistic communication and description Tolkien uses to characterize Sauron, some of which mentioned above, supply a elaborate and compelling word picture of the construct of immorality.

Symbolic artefacts are besides cardinal in reenforcing the construct of immorality throughout this trilogy. The One Ring, besides called the Ruling Ring, is an illustration of this. The One Ring, forged in Mount Doom, is the beginning of Sauron ‘s power, but besides, ironically, his greatest failing. The Ring provenders off lecherousness and desire. All those who succumb to its power did so because of their privation of wealth and power. During the Council of Elrond, Boromir suggests that the One Ring should be taken to Gondor and used against Sauron. To this, Elrond answers:

“ We can non utilize the Ruling Ring. That we now know excessively good. It belongs to Sauron and was made by him entirely, and is wholly evil. Its strength, Boromir, is excessively great for anyone to exert at will, salvage merely those who have already a great power of their ain. But for them it holds an even deadlier hazard. The really desire of it corrupts the bosom. See Saruman. If any of the Wise should with this Ring subvert the Lord of Mordor, utilizing his ain humanistic disciplines, he would so put himself on Sauron ‘s throne, and yet another Dark Lord would look. ”

Called the Ruling Ring due to its ability to govern above the lesser rings, the One Ring can merely be manipulated by those possessing a great will and power sufficiency to counter Sauron ‘s immorality. But this, as Elrond says, contains a great hazard every bit good, for should the desire for power and wealth corrupt them, they would, as Elrond says, “ set himself on Sauron ‘s throne. ” A ring is an object of great value, every bit good as a item of curse. The One Ring appears to be a simple gold set, and when heated, an Elfin lettering appears. “ It looked to be made of pure and solid gold. ” During the early Roman Republic, gold was preserved for people who held a high position in the community. Therefore, it is besides a symbol of power, in this instance, Sauron ‘s might. A throne, in a actual sense, refers to a chair occupied by a individual of power. However, since Sauron does non hold a organic structure at the clip, the construct of the throne merely refers to Sauron ‘s power and position. A simple desire to replace this evil autocrat through the power of the Ring could easy turn any living thing towards evil. The events throughout the fresh suggest that work forces are particularly susceptible to it. That is one of the chief grounds that lust is considered as one of the Seven Deadly Sins. A lecherousness for power so gives rise to other qualities that finally lead a being to evil and darkness. Therefore, lecherousness is considered as a footing of immorality. The Ring is a symbol of that lecherousness, and Sauron, its maestro, is every bit much under its control as its accountant. Therefore, by portraying the One Ring as a symbolic artefact through the usage literary devices such as imagination and linguistic communication, Tolkien is able to successfully convey the subject of immorality to readers.

Evil is non merely depicted through word picture or usage of artefacts in The Lord of the Rings. Puting besides plays an of import function. Mordor, the kingdom of Sauron, is an illustration of this. Inhabited by Orcs and other immorality animals, Mordor is a land of darkness and immorality. The name of Mordor is adequate to raise fright in the free people of Middle Earth, intending “ black land ” . Black is a color symbolic of immorality, and can besides be seen as a representation of power and perfidy. It is besides a repeating motive throughout the text, particularly in relation to Sauron and his fastness. The frequent returns of the color black service to further reenforce the perceptual experience of immorality. Aragorn warns against stating the name of Mordor during their journey to Weathertop. “ Do non talk that name so aloud! ” Fear of the name merely serves to foreground the immorality of Mordor. “ Fear of a name increases fright of the thing itself. ” There are merely two known ways to come in into Mordor: through the Black Gate, or through Minas Morgul. The chief entryway into Mordor is the Black Gate, a great barrier made of Fe. Iron demonstrates “ great hardness or strength, ” and is a silver/grey coloured metal, a coloring material usually associated with loss and depression. Alternatively, a barrier represents a bound. The entryway of this land can be likened to a bosom that is filled with darkness. Taken from a psychological point of position, barriers interfere with a being ‘s true potency. Barriers are besides associated with failure. Mordor, being a little, enclosed country compared to the remainder of Middle Earth, is divided by a barrier that basically separates evil from good. Originally, the immorality of Sauron stemmed from Mordor, and the Black Gate, although functioning as an entryway, hinders the spread of immorality throughout the land. The Black Gate besides proves to be an indicant of the high quality of good over evil ( given the big size difference, every bit good as the location ) . The animals inside the kingdom of Mordor have power, authorization, and strength, but as their power grows, as does the nothingness in their bosom ; the solitariness, the desperation they feel indoors. The Black Gate can besides be seen as a gate that locks out virtuousnesss such as friendly relationship and love. This presents a contrast between evil and good ; evil incorporating the antithesis of anything good. Good contains qualities such as visible radiation, friendly relationship and love while evil contains their antonyms: darkness, hostility, and hatred. Hence, Tolkien uses the imagination of the Black Gate and the linguistic communication used to depict it to further reenforce the construct of immorality throughout the novel.

The other entryway, the stepss of Cirith Ungol ascent through the Mountains of Shadow, and translates to “ the way of the spider. ” A spider can besides be interpreted as a symbol of dismay and a hereafter endangering danger, particularly in dream reading. “ The stairss were narrow, spaced unevenly, and frequently unreliable: they were worn and smooth at the borders, and some were broken, and some cracked as pes was set upon them. ” Waies that cut through mountains are normally rather narrow, and unsafe. Tolkien ‘s usage of the word “ unreliable ” here is interesting though. Defined as “ marked by treachery of fidelity, assurance, or trust, ” the word describes more than the intimate danger of the way of Cirith Ungol. It besides foreshadows ulterior events that happen along this way ; the decease of many orcs at the custodies of Shelob, every bit good as Gollum ‘s treachery. The stepss are described as “ worn and smooth ” , demoing that they have been used many times in the yesteryear before the events of the fresh return topographic point. Cracks demonstrate the age and usage of the way. The way links the Dark Tower to Minas Morgul. The vale changed dramatically one time the Nazgul conquered it. “ Not the captive moonshine welling through the marble walls of Minas Ithil long ago, Tower of the Moon, carnival and radiant in the hollow of the hills. Paler so than the Moon ailing in some slow occultation was the visible radiation of it now, hesitating and blowing like a nauseating halitus of decay, a corpse-light, a visible radiation that illuminated nil. ” This description provides a really graphic contrast between Minas Ithil and Minas Morgul. Minas Ithil, described as “ just and beaming ” , is depicted as a beginning of visible radiation, goodness. In contrast, Minas Morgul is depicted as a beginning of immorality and darkness, “ a visible radiation that illuminated nil. ” The image of decease and decay is besides presented here, depicting a one time lively and beautiful topographic point fallen into ruin and immorality. Described as “ ailing ” , “ picket ” and “ cadaver ” , an image of illness and decease is portrayed ; the devastation that immorality has left behind. The imagination and linguistic communication used to depict the stepss of Cirith Ungol and contrast Minas Ithil and Minas Morgul function to farther joint the subject of immorality in this trilogy.

Another topographic point of importance in Mordor is Sauron ‘s fastness, the tower of Barad-dur, besides known as the Dark Tower, a fortress of great power, surrounded by Gatess of steel, and made of Fe, and clouded in a shadow dramatis personae by Sauron. The tower is black in visual aspect, and really tall, with many walls and crenelations. Upon the highest extremum was the Eye of Sauron. Steel is a difficult, lasting metal metal, of course grey in coloring material, although is usually coated with rust and other affair. Its true nature is covered, hidden from the universe, as is the full kingdom of Mordor, shrouded in a dark head covering. Its secretiveness displays a sense of immorality and error. ‘ … lifting black, blacker and darker than the huge sunglassess amid which it stood, the cruel pinnacles and press Crown of the topmost tower of Barad-dur… ‘ The repeat of the color black reinforces its significance to researching different constructs in The Lord of the Rings such as the subject of immorality. An image of contrast is besides presented, bespeaking that the tower is in fact darker than its environing country. Its pinnacles are described as “ cruel ” , a trait frequently associated as immorality. An “ Fe Crown ” is besides mentioned. Iron is a metal of a dark Grey coloring material, and is besides associated with strength, hardness and control. The description and portraiture of the tower of Barad-dur via coloring material, contrast, imagination and word picture of enigma serves to farther enhance Tolkien ‘s word picture of immorality.

The most important topographic point in Mordor nevertheless is Mount Doom. Mount Doom is a vent, where the One Ring was created and destroyed. Grey slopes ran along the vent, ragged and broken, and covered with ash and burned rock. “ Ever and anon the furnaces far below its ashen cone would turn hot and with a great surging and throbbing pour Forth rivers of liquefied stone from chasms in its sides. Some would flux blazing towards Barad-dur down great channels ; some would weave their manner into the stony field, until they cooled and lay like distorted dragon-shapes vomited from the anguished Earth. ” The word “ anon ” is frequently used in poesy, and refers to another clip. “ Ever and anon ” therefore refers to a long period of clip. “ Furnaces ” are enclosed infinites where a really hot fire is made, and every bit mentioned before, fire can be interpreted as a tool for evil and representative of Hell. Tolkien ‘s description of the lava flow besides creates an image of power, and the resulting image, “ twisted dragon-like forms vomited from the anguished Earth, ” demonstrates hurting and agony. A firedrake can be observed as a symbol of strength, which serves to further magnify the images of hurting and agony. Out of the crater blew fume and exhausts, every bit good as liquefied lava. During the twenty-four hours of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, darkness erupts from the oral cavity of the vent, and covers the lands of Gondor and Rohan. Darkness is a representation of immorality, every bit good as a direct nexus to Satan, who is besides known as the Prince of Darkness. Darkness is besides a representation of evil and mistake, reflecting the immorality of Sauron. Once he is destroyed, much of the part falls into ruin. Mount Doom is no ordinary vent, but one enhanced with Sauron ‘s black magic and thaumaturgy. The chasm within the mountain upon which the One Ring was forged by Sauron is called “ the clefts of day of reckoning ” , which is a modern English term for “ Ragnerok ” , the day of reckoning of the Gods, a mention to a series of events that end with the spread of fire in each way that will finally do all the universes to fire and go destroyed. Then, a new universe will be born, nothingness of hurting and agony. Basically, the Ragnerok signifies devastation and the beginning of a new age. Destruction is a common representation of immorality ; nevertheless it is besides necessary for metempsychosis. It demonstrates the extent of the immorality of Sauron, every bit good as the high quality of good over it.


The usage of linguistic communication and literary devices in picturing immorality in Tolkien ‘s The Lord of the Rings trilogy nowadayss this subject in a assortment of ways. Imagery and description used by Tolkien convey to the reader a compelling sense of the ubiquity of immorality throughout the novels, one of the many things that make this trilogy so challenging, even more so because the good vs. evil argument is one rather celebrated in classical literature. By utilizing word picture of characters such as Sauron and his orcs, every bit good as description of puting such as assorted landmarks in the part of Mordor: the Black Gate, Minis Morgul, Barad-dur, and Mount Doom, and artefacts such as the Ring of Power, Tolkien is able to successfully heighten the word picture of immorality throughout his heroic poem trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.


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