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Parallel worlds in Tolkien and Dumas

News from Bree
spymaster@theonering.net

Aug 19 2010, 7:00am

Post #1 of 7 (963 views)
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Parallel worlds in Tolkien and Dumas Can't Post

Rutland Herald's retired editor Kendall Wild has written an interesting opinion piece on the parallels between 'The Lord of the Rings' and the 'Count of Monte Cristo' by Alexandre Dumas. Here's an excerpt:

There is an odd similarity between the "Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien and the "Count of Monte Cristo" by the senior Alexandre Dumas. The characters and places have different names, but the overall framework of each is very much alike.

The central theme of both novels, of course, is a quest. Frodo's quest (often capitalized as "Quest") is to carry the evil ring of Sauron to the volcanic fire of Mount Doom and destroy it, thus destroying Sauron.

The quest of Edmond Dantes, in the Dumas novel, is to exact revenge on the people who falsely imprisoned him, stole his girlfriend, and caused his father to starve to death.

You can read the full article at the Rutland Herald website. [Read More]

(This post was edited by Silverlode on Aug 20 2010, 12:26am)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Aug 19 2010, 10:51pm

Post #2 of 7 (494 views)
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I do believe this comparison has stretched the realm of credibility. [In reply to] Can't Post

Both stories have a quest! Wow!
Were are the Dumas' Elves & Dwarves? Who is the equivalent of Aragorn? And I could go on.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Isely
Registered User

Aug 20 2010, 8:22am

Post #3 of 7 (387 views)
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My thoughts exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly that would have been the last story I would have ever thought to compare to the LOTR.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Aug 20 2010, 9:35am

Post #4 of 7 (428 views)
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True. [In reply to] Can't Post

Even the "quest" idea is stretched to the limit. A "quest" to exact revenge is a personal ambition, not a quest in the epic sense of the word.

And, as Tolkien liked to point out, many stories have quests - it's one of those universal themes. The difference with LotR, for him, was that Frodo's quest was to lose something, rather than to win something - it's about renouncing power, not exerting it. So really, what does a "quest" to exact revenge have in common with that?

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Ostadan
Rivendell

Aug 20 2010, 5:58pm

Post #5 of 7 (390 views)
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Eighth-Grade 'Insights' [In reply to] Can't Post

Truly, an astonishingly mindless 'literary' article, which the Rutland Herald's editor should be ashamed to have accepted for publication. Unless, perhaps, the author is in junior high -- nope, just re-checked, the author is a retired editor for the Rutland Herald. Oh dear.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 20 2010, 9:19pm

Post #6 of 7 (422 views)
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I've enountered comparisons between the works before. [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't remember where -- possibly in the erratic scholarship of Jared Lobdell. On TORN, Curious has discussed similarities between Tolkien and Dumas before on several occasions, as here, for instance.

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FarFromHome
Valinor


Aug 21 2010, 4:47pm

Post #7 of 7 (444 views)
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That's a pretty vague comparison [In reply to] Can't Post

that Curious makes in the post you linked to. It's clear enough that Dumas belongs to the category of literary adventure stories that are most easily compared to LotR.

In fact, Curious mentions not The Count of Monte Cristo but The Three Musketeers, which with its theme of fellowship might be a better comparison anyway (with the proletarian, rather comic d'Artagnan as Sam? Wink). There's even a proper quest in there - to find and return the queen's jewels to save her honour.

If I had to compare Dumas to Tolkien, I think I'd pick the Musketeers over the Count - but the similarities are superficial and little more than a kind of family resemblance, I'd say.

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings


 
 

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