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Word Count: 1,192
The principal concern of a literature student is to try to infer what the authors intentions are However we often include our own perspectives and forget the author altogether Take a look at The Hobbit Many people assume Tolkien wanted Bilbo to be viewed as the hero and that the story is of his transformation However given Beowulfs influence on Tolkien Bilbo is most likely not meant to a hero For those who think Bilbo is the hero dont be too offended by my claim The theory does make sense When we first see Bilbo he is as commonplace as can be Every morning he sits down smokes his pipe and is a good housekeeper - never forgetting to dust the mantelpiece However one morning he is whisked away from his hobbit hole He is taken on an adventure where he proves himself to be above norm He performs many daring feats Bilbo certainly does change during the adventure However it takes more than performing heroic feats to be a heroBut then what is a hero The American Heritage Dictionary defines hero as the principal male character in a literary work For all purposes this definition is too broad - any protagonist as long as theyre male could qualify for this distinction How then do we define a hero The hero after all has been a long literary tradition Choosing then which character or adventure is best fitted for the definition of hero can be tricky What is the standard Heroes from mythology Should we turn to King Arthur or his nephew Gawain Or maybe someone more modern - Harry Potter perhaps Beowulf is a direct influence on Tolkiens The Hobbit He studied it wrote about it and taught it The setting of Heorot is directly responsible for Rivendell Both are viewed as havens and the food and drink are endless Beowulfs dragon shows his face as Smaug Both are wakened by the theft of
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