Bilbo Baggins: an Unexpected Hero

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Bilbo Baggins; An Unexpected Hero

Bilbo Baggins, an unadventureous hobbit, is not an iconic symbol of bravery, but he remains a literary hero for his bravery, perseverence and integrity. Only a hero could riddle a dragon, slaughter a spider, and yet spare the life of a small, ugly creature who has threatened to eat him. Such is the legacy of Bilbo Baggins, a mere hobbit, whose Tookish blood got the better of him. Often, when heros are mentioned, Hercules is a name that is thought of; Alas, Bilbo and this hero are not that dissimilar. For instance, Hercules is very cunning, tricking atlas, god of the skies to hold the atmosphere for another 1000 years. Not only is Bilbo cunning, being able to solve all of Golem’s riddles, but he is brave. Hercules was not particularly brave through any of his trials as a hero. He was tricked, and he merely weasled his way out of situations. In fact, Bilbo was brave and could have turned around at any point. The difference that makes them two different types of heros is image. Picture Hercules, a large, strong manwho held the whole world on his shoulders. Now picture Bilbo. A small, chubby hobbit who has two breakfasts and for the last fifty years, no sense of adventure. It all comes down to the common picture. Tall and muscular or chubby and delicate? Every hero needs a call to adventure and meeting the thirteen dwarves was Bilbo’s; with bravery and a touch of foolishness, it was important to Bilbo’s character develpoment. The dwarves are also influential because they introduce a sense of adventure to Bilbo when they sing, “Far over the mist mountains cold, to dungeons deep and caverns old, we must away ere break of day, to seek the pale enchanted gold.” (14) This song that they sing awakens a Tookish spirit in our hero. It causes this comfortable hobbit to step out of his hobbit hole and into adventure. When Bilbo slays a large spider instead of become it’s lunch, Bilbo’s bravery reaches a pivotal level, a level at which...
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