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Frodo is Moses

H

Harad

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All the great comments on "Could anybody destroy the OneRing" have shown me the light.

Frodo is an ordinary Man that is called upon by higher authorities to save the People. He goes thru trials and tribulations to reach the Holy Land. The People are allowed to enter the Holy Land, but Frodo, himself, can not. There is no place left in Middle Earth for Frodo and he must sail West.

(And of course Moses is found among the Bulrushes while Frodo's prominent ancestor is Bullroarer. Too much of a coincicence?)
 

Elanor2

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And then Frodo took his people and guided them to the promised land...

Wait a sec. His people was only Sam, and he was not guiding, Gollum was, and the promised land was about the most horrid place in ME...

If you are looking for Moses, What about Aragorn? He was also called, he was also born a prince, he also renounced to the falso god(s), his people also wandered in the desert for (more than) 40 years...
I am still missing the burning bush and the two stone tablets... perhaps with a bit of carpentry on the palantiri and making firewood of the white tree...;)
 
H

Harad

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OK

I can see I have to be more explicit.

Frodo did not lead a group of people LITERALLY. What he did was to perform the act which opened up the Fourth Age.

The "People" were the Free Peoples of Middle Earth.
The "Holy Land" was the Fourth Age of Middle Earth free from the domination of Sauron.
Just as Moses was not able to enjoy the fruits of his labor, Frodo was likewise not able to enjoy the "Holy Land" that he was responsible for unlocking.
 
H

Harad

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Sheeesh. The "bullroarer" part was a joke.

Still, I will not use smilies.
 

Elanor2

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Originally posted by Harad
Frodo did not lead a group of people LITERALLY. What he did was to perform the act which opened up the Fourth Age.
But Moses literally lead his people, commanded them actively, gave them rules (and I am not talking about the Ten only). He was more than a gateway, he was a Comander, Ruler, Judge.
The "People" were the Free Peoples of Middle Earth.
The "Holy Land" was the Fourth Age of Middle Earth free from the domination of Sauron.
Just as Moses was not able to enjoy the fruits of his labor, Frodo was likewise not able to enjoy the "Holy Land" that he was responsible for unlocking.
Moses freed HIS people, not all people. In fact, he conquered and forced others to convert to his beliefs, when he arrived to the promised land.

Egypt was not the land of toiling slaves that Hollywood and the old historians try to make us believe. It was in fact, the closest "land of freedom" at the time. Moses exodus was a political and religious decision, more than a quest for a new, better age.

Moses was denied entry to the promised land because he sinned. Frodo, even if he also failed, was denied rest because of the injuries in mind and body sustained during the quest. He was not punished for his faillure.

Just some thoughts...
Elanor2
 
H

Harad

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Elanor2:
Thanks for your thoughts.

I do not think you can overlay real history on the Biblical Moses.

For one thing there is no record of Moses in any other historical document except for the Old Testament. There is no record in Egyptian history of Moses or the Exodus even occurring.

Moses freed "his people" but according to the only document in which he exists, "his" were the only people that "counted" since they believed in the real God. Similarly Frodo did nothing for the enemies of "his people"--his act led to their downfall.

Egypt was a typical empire at that time, all of which had "toiling slaves." The extra-historical element is that Moses' people were not a small, insignificant component of the slaves.

Frodo weakness in part brought about his wound. Had he not succumbed to the Ring on Weathertop, might he not have avoided his wound?

There is no doubt that Moses was leader and his accomplishments were center stage and public. Frodo accomplished just as much for "his people" but in a private act.
 

Camille

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You can said that just in some aspects of LOTR story Frodo can be similar to Moses: the fact that he was a regular person (or hobbit)being called to make such a big task !!! but apart from that I do not see others similarities.
 

Elanor2

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Hi Harad,

However, the three elements that you have pointed out
- Free his/her people
- Promised land/era
- Unable to enjoy the fruit of their sacrifice

apply also to any mythical or historical figure that has marthyr connotations.

Just some examples: King Arthur, Sigfrid, Jeanne D'Arc, Martin Luther King...

These points are far to generic for a true comparison, in my opinion.
 
H

Harad

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Elanor2:

I agree with you. Frodo was a "martyr" in the tradition of Moses and the ones you mentioned.

You could also add Beowulf.

But unlike the others, and like Moses, Frodo lived.

(In the case of King Arthur, I am not sure what his Quest was and where he ended up...)
 

Elanor2

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Originally posted by Harad (In the case of King Arthur, I am not sure what his Quest was and where he ended up...)
Quick info:

King Arthur's Quest , in some traditions, was to rescue his land (England) from darkness. Later on they added the search for the Holy Grail.

King's Arthur's body dead or injured, was brought to the west (Avalon)in a boat were he remains asleep until the day he awakens to free England again.

In fact, I am sure that some clever literature professors must have made a comparisson between Arthurian tradition and Tolkien's. Arthur is an Anglo-Saxon myth and Tolkien should have been very familiar with it.
 
H

Harad

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I am just spit-balling here, but I think that JRRT's goal was to CREATE Anglo-Saxon myth where it didnt exist. So mabye Arthurian Legend is Celtic? myth?
 

Elanor2

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I did a quick historical check. The first written reference to the Arthur legend is dated on the 800 A.D., within the beginnings of the Anglo-saxon period. However, you are right, there are many Celtic elements in the legend (magicians with druidical connotations, for example), and the chievalry tradition of the Normans made many add-ons later on, so it is not pure Anglo-saxon.

However, I am far from being and expert here, so I might be wrong.
 

HLGStrider

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Moses freed HIS people, not all people. In fact, he conquered and forced others to convert to his beliefs, when he arrived to the promised land.
First point. Moses didn't make it there. Died outside do to a few personal faults.


Egypt was not the land of toiling slaves that Hollywood and the old historians try to make us believe. It was in fact, the closest "land of freedom" at the time. Moses exodus was a political and religious decision, more than a quest for a new, better age.
Second point: Not quite. America was also a land of freedom in the 19th century.. unless you happened to be blck.
 

Elanor2

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Originally posted by HLGStrider
First point. Moses didn't make it there. Died outside do to a few personal faults.
I haven't read the bible for a long while, but I seem to remember that there are descriptions of battles against "heathens" during the 40 years of desert wandering, and forced conversions. However I am not 100% sure, so I concede the point and stand corrected.

Second point: Not quite. America was also a land of freedom in the 19th century.. unless you happened to be blck.
I said that it was the closest, comparatively speaking, not that it was perfect. Modern studies on Egypt think that Egyptians "slaves" were forced wokers, normally criminals or war prisoners, and they had limited periods of servitude. They were not property, like in Greece or Rome, for example. I am not saying that they were not mistreated, but they were not sold and had certain rights. Many of their war prisoners, after their serving period, were released and remained in Egypt as normal citicens.

OK. Enough of Egypt. Let's go back to Tolkien. If someone wants to discuss this, we can post privately (now that I have finally learned how it works :))
 

Lady_of_Gondor

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good post

I have to say that I have never thought of Frodo as being similar to Moses. But now that I have read your post I have to say you certainly make a good point of it. I have never been one to be too judgemental of a new idea though. Good thinking! :)
 

aragil

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Arthur is a Celtic myth. Geoffrey of Monmouthe was the first person to write about our man Art on a large scale, and it was his work (on the history of the Kings and Queens of Britain) which was largely drawn on for the later Arthurian Romances, including Mallory's l'Morte d'Arthur. The Arthur that Geoffrey wrote about was defending the remnants of Romano-Celtic Britain from the Saxons, but as Elanor2 said, Arthur has gotten a lot of extra trappings. The French and Normans introduced the ideas of chivalry to the story, etc. In fact, the crusades actually spread the Arthurian myth into the Islamic world, and there are now pictures of Arthur riding on a camel! However, most of the origins for Arthur lie with the Celts, and much of what comes down to us as anything resembling fact comes through the Welsh and Scotish traditions.

Anyway, Arthur and Tolkien are connected, somewhat through what Harad said. However, Tolkien was not looking to create an Anglo-Saxon myth, but a myth for Britain (or England, or whatever you want to call it). Sindarin was inspired by Celtic (actually Welsh), so there was a large Celtic influence on Middle-earth. The inhabitants of Buckland in the Shire were also supposed to be thought of as 'Celtic' relative to the more 'Anglicized' Hobbits in the rest of the Shire (Yay PJ for giving Merry the accent). Tolkien didn't have any problems with the Celts, indeed he rather enjoyed their language. Tolkien's problem with the Arthurian legend was the extra trappings that it had been given, and that it had become so entwined with the Christian religion. He felt that it had ceased to be a truly 'British' mythology, and had become more of a mythology of the Christian world.

Well, that sums up what I know of the Arthur angle. As for Moses, I could scarcely know less. Given what I said above, I doubt that Tolkien intentionally tried to make the story of Frodo a parable of Exodus. I have my book 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces', but I haven't read it yet. My guess is that many of the characteristics of both Moses and Frodo would be echoed in the Thousand other heroes, as Elanor2 already said.
 

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