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Feminine wiles


Feb 14 2013, 1:52am

Views: 407
Feminine wiles [In reply to] Can't Post

What's always hard for me to figure out in this chapter is if Melian was caught in the same spell as Thingol. Was this spontaneous mutual infatuation that blinded them both to the world? Or, because it's said that among Lorien's people there was there was no one "more skilled in songs of enchantment," did she sing Elwe into a love trance using her powers? If so, that almost seems sinister, or at best devious, because she should have known she was separating him from his people. What were her motives, and how did she justify this to herself? (And how can she be both akin to Yavanna and part of Lorien's tribe?)

Odysseus is a good comparison; Squire had me laughing heartily with his. The story of the Spanish king seems close to the Thingol/Melian one because the king is defenseless against feminine wiles that don't sound all that innocent. Though I don't think Melian is evil; she's just hard to figure out, and though she later helps establish Elwe as a king, she's sundered him from his brother and many of his people--that just doesn't seem right.

Re: language
. Yes, I tend to pass over the multiple names given to people as decoration, though I think that gives them a little more depth since it implies a character is seen from different points of view and has resonance in different cultures, as you point out with Odysseus/Ulysses. But I'm probably more like Elevorn and just think they sound nice and move on.

Grey Elves: I almost think your question is asking if it's necessary to come up with a new group of Elves. I think this is Tolkien having fun with his taxonomies, since there were the Nandor-Teleri who left the great march west, and Laiquendi-Nandor-Teleri who came back to the Sindar-Teleri and wound up in Ossiriand. Is all that necessary? If I stood on a street corner in Beleriand, could I point out the differences between these cultures like I could in New York among tourists from different countries? Though I'm not criticizing. I think that naming groups differently gives a sense of their own history, and the sense that groups in isolation will develop their own norms and outlooks. That also contributes to the linguistic divisions between Elves in Valinor and Middle-earth. My guess is that Tolkien was replicating European history (without the warfare) where a homogeneous group can be sundered into heterogeneous ones. That happens on a big scale, such as Rome giving way to different Romance languages, or a smaller one such as Italy or France becoming subdivided into small provinces with their own dialects.

I like the notion of the Grey-Elves who are somehow suspended between the light and the dark since they receive a little bit of light from Melian. And it helps set up the later history of the wars of Beleriand. The Sindar are more organized and sophisticated than the Avari or Nandor or Laiquendi, which means they can put up a little more fight against Morgoth.

Subject User Time
Silmarillion Discussion: Of Thingol and Melian, #2 NZ Strider Send a private message to NZ Strider Feb 12 2013, 1:22am
    La Belle Dame Sans Chimichurri squire Send a private message to squire Feb 12 2013, 2:35am
        Perhaps Gov. Sanford demonstrated NZ Strider Send a private message to NZ Strider Feb 12 2013, 7:48am
            Whose enchantment is it anyway? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 12 2013, 6:00pm
    Is it just a "stock theme" though? FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 13 2013, 4:31pm
    Love and enchantment elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 13 2013, 8:13pm
    Feminine wiles CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 14 2013, 1:52am
    posting previous questions here now elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 14 2013, 5:37pm
        Thingol's resume CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 15 2013, 1:29am
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Feb 17 2013, 3:25pm
    a few thoughts on several great comments telain Send a private message to telain Feb 20 2013, 11:51pm
        Hyperlink to next chapter noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 21 2013, 10:21pm


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