J.R.R. Tolkien and Joseph Campbell: Parallel Paths to Myth
Date of Award
Master of Liberal Studies
Arts & Culture
fairy tales; hero's journey; J R R Tolkien; Joseph Campbell; Middle-earth; monomyth; mythology
While author J.R.R. Tolkien created the fantasy world of Middle-earth, comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote extensively about the structure and meaning of mythology gathered from throughout the world. Each man's work offers a different perspective of mythology as a metaphor for human existence and meaning. This capstone project merges the works of both authors by applying Campbell's framework for the heroic journey, i.e., the monomyth, as described in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, to Tolkien's trilogy The Lord of the Rings. By juxtaposing the Jungian and Freudian focus of Campbell's work with the theological and literary foundation of Tolkien's fiction, a fuller understanding of the hero's journey and its applicability to the human condition will be addressed.
Kopas, Barbara, "J.R.R. Tolkien and Joseph Campbell: Parallel Paths to Myth" (2009). University College: Arts and Culture Capstones. 11.