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MonkeyNotes-The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
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QUESTIONS

Is there a true Lord of the Rings? Explain your answer with specific details from the text.

Compare Middle-earth to Earth. Be sure to include politics and religion in your comparison, as well as social issues like racism and war.

What is the thematic importance of the Ring? Of the Eye?

What does power do to those who wield it? List some characters who appear to be immune to the corrupting influence of power.

Discuss responsibility and the concept of the "greater good" in The Lord of the Rings.

Explain the significance of the "changing of the guard" that takes place at the beginning of the novel between Bilbo and Frodo. Relate this to the similar scene at the end of the novel between Frodo and Sam.

Compare Denethor (father of Boromir and Faramir) to Aragorn. How do they differ as leaders?

Compare the relationship between Gandalf and Sarumon to the one between Frodo and Bilbo. (i.e., both are mentor relationships)


Discuss the symbolism of light and dark in The Lord of the Rings.

How does Sam change as the story progresses?

How does Frodo change?

Compare the characters of Aragorn, Gandalf and Sauron as leaders of their people.

Lady Galadriel and Tom Bombadil are purely benevolent characters. Discuss the roles they play in Frodo’s adventure.

Boromir is redeemed by a last-minute repentance. Denethor, his father, dies in the shame of his own corruption. Where does Faramir fit into this scheme?

Make a list of the following three groups of characters: Good Characters, Conflicted Characters, Evil Characters.

Which characters from the above lists are the most compelling? Why?

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