There and Back Again a Comparison of the Hobbit and Beowulf

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There and Back Again
A comparison of The Hobbit and Beowulf

Interesting similarities can be found between The Hobbit and Beowulf. These books shockingly share a lot of the characters, symbols, and scenes. Who copied who though? The answer is simple, Tolkein. He didn’t really copy the poem he just used a lot of the same ideas of Beowulf. J.R.R Tolkein was a professor at Oxford University. Where He read the epic poem Beowulf. He wrote some essays over the poem and really liked Beowulf. It shows in the book The Hobbit. Upon further examination the two tales are quite similar. Let’s start with comparing the main characters, Bilbo and Beowulf. Bilbo was a small hobbit, “About half our height, and smaller than bearded dwarves” (Tolkein, 2) and Beowulf was a great big man with enormous strength, “He was the strongest of men alive in that day” (Beowulf, 180). Obviously they are total opposites. One big one small. One thing that is the same size though, is their hearts they both have big hearts and are brave. Beowulf is probably a tad bit more brave but Bilbo is close behind. Both characters set out on a quest or adventure. Beowulf to kill the dreaded beast Grendel and Bilbo to slay the notorious dragon Smaug. They are both very successful with the task that was presented ahead of them. Beowulf kills Grendel. Bilbo aids in the killing of Smaug and to regain the stolen treasure for his companion Thorin Oakenshield. The two heroes were not on their quests for the same reasons though. Beowulf had heroism for his reasoning on making the journey to Hrothgar’s kingdom to slay Grendel. Bilbo was kind of tricked into going on his adventure and had nothing but greed on his little hobbit mind. They got a lot more than they anticipated on their journeys. They both had to battle unexpected foes. Bilbo probably had the worst of the two. He had to battle trolls, goblins, Gollum, wargs, spiders, wood elves, and then on top of all those nasty creatures throw in a fire breathing...
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