Frodo's Seed of Courage Essay
Courage is an essential quality that is found in every archetypal hero. Courage is defined as the quality of mind and spirit that enables an individual to face difficulty, danger, and pain without fear. An individual is not born with a courageous heart, but instead develops courage through experience of difficulty and danger. The stimulation of courage is analogous to the growth of a beautiful flower. Courage starts off as a seed which is planted in the soil of the individual's heart. The planting of the seed is usually initiated by a courageous act during a time of difficulty or danger. As an individual experiences many of these dangerous and difficult circumstances, the individual's courage begins to grow. After many acts of courage, the individual becomes brave enough to risk their life for a noble cause. Thus, the individual's courage blossoms into a noble flower that is invincible and unwavering in the face of danger. A great example of courage that develops within an individual is the character of Frodo in J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, The Fellowship of the Ring. Tolkien states that, "There is a seed of courage hidden (often deeply, it is true) in the heart of the fattest and most timid hobbit, waiting for some final and desperate danger to make it grow" (Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring 159). Tolkien uses the protagonist, Frodo, to demonstrate the growth of courage within a hero. In Tolkien's novel, The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo's "seed of courage" (159) grows through the dangers on his quest to destroy the Ring and transforms him into a courageous individual that decides to journey to Mordor alone.
Frodo's "seed of courage" (159) begins to grow during his journey to Rivendell. The beginning of growth of Frodo's "seed of courage" (159) occurs when Frodo and his friends are trapped in the Barrow-wight tomb. Before Frodo's "seed of courage" (159) starts to grow, Frodo feels great fear of the Barrow-wights. After cowering with fear for a few minutes, Frodo remembers that, "There is a seed of courage hidden (often deeply, it is true) in the heart of the fattest and most timid hobbit, waiting for some final and desperate danger to make it grow" (159). Suddenly, Frodo notices a Barrow-wight hand creeping steadily towards the unconscious bodies of Merry, Pippin, and Sam. When Frodo sees the hand of the Barrow-wight, he first feels the desire to escape. But the "seed of courage" (159) starts to grow within Frodo through the danger of the Barrow-wight and, "The courage that had been awakened in him was now too strong: he could not leave his friends so easily" (160). As a result of Frodo's courage, Frodo grabs a sword and dismembers the hand of the Barrow-wight. While the Barrow-wight is distracted with the pain from its decapitated hand, Frodo remembers the chant of Tom Bombadil and shouts it. The chant summons Tom Bombadil to the hobbits' rescue. Frodo's first act of courage cultivates the "seed of courage" (159) within him, thus saving his friends. Frodo's "seed of courage" (159) continues to grow again during his encounter with the Ringwraiths at Weathertop. When Frodo and his friends make camp at Weathertop, five Ringwraiths discover them and prepare to attack. The leader of the Ringwraiths steps out from the others and lunges at Frodo. Although Frodo feels fear once again, the "seed of courage" (159) within him grows and, "At that moment Frodo threw himself forward on the ground, and he heard himself crying aloud: O Elbereth! Gilthoniel! At the same time he struck at the feet of his enemy" (221). As a result of Frodo's courage, the Ringwraith cries in pain and is chased away by Aragorn. Although Frodo's courage growth continues, Frodo does not leave the battle with the Ringwraith unscathed. Instead, Frodo receives a wound from the Ringwraith's Morgul-knife on his left shoulder. By enduring the pain from the Morgul-knife splinter in his shoulder during...
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