Eomer Gets Poetic: Tolkien\u27s Alliterative Versecraft


Throughout Tolkien\u27s professional career he dealt with a great number of texts that had varying views on the heroic, the romantic, the everyday world, and the role of Faerie. One consistent tendency among them, though, is to treat the past, and particularly Anglo-Saxon heritage, with a great deal of respect while trying to find ways to incorporate themes or ideas from that time into his own imaginative subcreations. Tolkien\u27s use of alliterative verse serves to re-contextualize an ancient heroic ethos in a way that shows how heroism has changed, and must change, for the modern world. This paper examines Tolkien’s use of alliterative poetry in the climactic “Battle of Pelennor Fields” in Book V of The Lord of the Rings. It provides two important insights into Tolkien’s poetry: the fidelity that Tolkien has to traditional alliterative verse form and the impact that inclusion of this medieval poetry has on a modern audience

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