“Warning: Not To Be Taken Literally”:

2282 words - 9 pages

Although not immediately seen as a likely success (Shippey), J.R.R. Tolkein’s original epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings flourished, and has had numerous adaptations for different mediums in the years following its publication. Not surprisingly, each one has had its criticism. In particular, deviations from canon – a term used to mean original story-line and accepted character history supported by the author’s writings – are among the worst “offenses” that can be made when pursuing an adaptation, according to those who refer to themselves as Tolkein “purists.” Such changes, they argue, substantially change the narrative and spirit of the original tale (Ruzin). But in each case, the creators of these adaptations have shouldered the task of recreating and retelling a fantasy epic that is too large to be contained even within itself; Tolkein himself had reams of world-crafting to support the characters and story-line behind his writing. While the novels stand alone on their own strengths, they take on their true grandeur when read the context of their world and its history. Considering this, it is a wonder at all when a film adaptation, a few scant hours of visual storytelling, can reflect even a part of the world that Tolkein created.
Of those that have tried, surely the most convincing has been Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy. There is no question that it had substantial canonical revision, but instead of taking away from the story, it focused and condensed the plot to the point where it can be managed and presented in the film format. Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings made thoughtful and important changes to the narrative which enhanced the story-line for the medium in and audience to which it was told. These changes included the removal of some scenes and characters, and revising the overall roles that some characters were to play.
Removing characters and situations that appear in the book may seem like the worst kind of story-tampering, but where these passages drew the reader into Tolkein's world, they would have seemed like irrelevant film-padding when presented in a visual format. In reading, the speed of the story-line is very much dictated by the readers; they can skip passages, reread others, and pause to review a previous plot point at will. In a movie, the narrative is dictated by the production and direction of its creators. For many of the removals, the reasoning can be traced back to this simple point: in a few hours, it is necessary to guide the viewer through an epic story-line, and there is no time for esoteric detours.
One of the most esoteric characters in the books, and absent from the movies, is the character of Tom Bombadil. Introduced in the latter part of The Fellowship of the Ring, the bulk of Bombadil's contribution to the story-line was little more than an intermission; he demonstrated that the One Ring has no effect on him and sang a few songs before seeing the Hobbits on their way. Tolkein's...

Find Another Essay On “Warning: Not to be Taken Literally”:

To be or not to be

867 words - 4 pages In perhaps the most quoted line in all of literature, "To be or not to be" (3.1, line 64), Hamlet contemplates suicide. Hamlet ponders whether he should simply end the sorrows of his life quickly, i.e. suicide, or continue his life and let fortune either alleviate these struggles or continue to add more sorrows. When we last saw Hamlet, he cursed himself for his lack of resolve and action. He watched an actor weep and moan across the stage in

To Be or Not to Be Barbie

1935 words - 8 pages up to par? How could intelligence and capability not be enough for this girl who was obviously a well-rounded individual? The idea of what her classmate thought about her appearance caused feelings of inferiority, because in our society everything truly seems to surround physical beauty. When you are beautiful you have more opportunities, you receive more attention, and it is suggested that you live a better life. This alone causes girls to dream

Soliloquy: To Be or Not to Be

1235 words - 5 pages William Shakespeare’s “To be, or not to be” soliloquy delivered by our lead character Hamlet is arguably the most popular soliloquy in all of literature, but is it? The question isn’t if it is the most popular in all of literature, but is it even a true soliloquy? Is it even original thought by Shakespeare? We will examine these questions in greater detail by scrutinizing articles written about these very topics and see if there is any validity

To Be or Not To Be... King

1285 words - 5 pages truthfully. Hamlet’s characteristic of indecisiveness is the most prevalent in his famous “to be or not to be” (III, i, 67) soliloquy. In his speech, Hamlet struggles with his choices of living or committing suicide. He compares death to sleep when he exclaims, “by a sleep to say we end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” (III, i, 61-64). At this moment, Hamlet longs to end his miserable life due to his mother’s new

"To Be or Not To Be".

1191 words - 5 pages Theme: Hamlet is one of the most celebrated tragediesfilled with several different themes and isfull of varying imagery.I. IntroductionII. ThemesA. DeceptionB. RevengeC. Appearance vs. realityD. Ambition and powerE. Disease and poisonIII. DeathIV. ImageryA. MetaphorsB. SimilesC. ImagesV. Conclusion."To Be or Not To Be.'Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's most celebrated tragedies. Written in 1602 during the English civil war, it was first believed a

To Be or Not To Be Loved

1530 words - 6 pages talks in circles, leading Polonius to believe that Hamlet is truly nuts. Hamlet’s intends to make everyone think that he is crazy so they won’t suspect that he is really out to avenge his father’s death. Ophelia waits for Hamlet to walk by and pretends to be reading a prayer book. Seeing this, Hamlet launches into his most famous soliloquies: To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer The

to be or not to be

1047 words - 5 pages Tragic death plays a really big role in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Hamlet often considers death in many different perspectives, and definitely obsesses with the idea more so after his fathers’ death. Hamlet’s soliloquy is one of the most famous in literature, “To be or not to be, that is the question…” Hamlet’s dilemma is the pain of life that he must endure or the uncertainty of death. From the beginning of the play to the very last scene

To Be Or Not To Be Insane

733 words - 3 pages duel. When Hamlet is finally stabbed by Laertes’ poisoned sword, the madness that has plagued him finally proves to be his downfall. Shakespeare’s main character plays both a tragic and ironic character. In his quest to kill the king, the person Hamlet really destroys is himself. He ruins his relationship with Ophelia and his mother, endangers his friends, and kills Laertes and Polonius. As G.K. Chesterton states in his book Orthodoxy, “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.” Clearly, after losing everyone important to him, Hamlet can be nothing but mad.

To be, or not to be

1507 words - 6 pages Colorado. Four days later, Smith committed suicide (Daleski 171). Smith had not wanted to be tried for his murder. This experience is particularly interesting when one compares it to Conrad's short story, "The Secret Sharer". Conrad directly used his knowledge of the occurrences aboard the Cutty Sark for that particular story."The Secret Sharer" is a psychological masterpiece that dramatizes the act of sympathetic identification with an outlaw. Also

Hamlet - To Be Or Not To Be

741 words - 3 pages Shakespeare's "To be, or not to be" speech can be interpreted in many different ways. In the Gibson, Jacobi, and Branagh versions, senses of depression, contemplation, and vengeance were conveyed. All of the emotions represented by the actors were appropriate, given the mental and physical states of Hamlet in the context of the play.In the Mel Gibson version, Hamlet was portrayed as a depressed and suicidal individual. He wore a black, leathery

To Be Or Not To Be

740 words - 3 pages reenactment of his father’s death in the play will make his uncle squirm in uncomfortableness. That way, Hamlet will have enough proof to be able to see if his uncle is guilty or not and therefore, won’t have any regrets or guilt about killing the man. Hamlet mentions how he wants to capture the conscious of the King and end his life. The third soliloquy from the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare has the theme of life. Hamlet walks in and starts to

Similar Essays

A Choice To Be Made, Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken Includes Quotes

1085 words - 4 pages A Choice to Be Made, Robert FrostEveryone travels in one point in their life, forcing them to make choices and decisions that affect their lives. There is never a straight path that leaves one with but a sole direction in which to head. Regardless of the original message that Robert Frost had intended to convey in his poem, "The Road Not Taken", leaves its readers with many different interpretations. It is one's past and present with which he

Childhood Obesity: Action Needs To Be Taken

766 words - 3 pages obesity. For example, carrots could be cut into different shapes, or celery could be endorsed by a popular singer.Yes, it is easier ad cheaper to buy greasy and fatty foods than it is to buy fresh and healthy foods. Parents need to be wise when shopping for not only themselves, but for their children. Families with low income already have a disadvantage when it comes to being obese, but there are programs like welfare that can help pay for the cost

What "The Road Not Taken" Means To Me

1700 words - 7 pages ") The theme of dreams, hopes, and plans plays on the aspect of how choices affect the future; one cannot know how how their choices will ultimately affect their future until they have made the choice. ("The Road Not Taken Theme of Dreams, Hopes, and Plans") The theme of exploration can be seen in the aspect of making choices, rather than turning back (though that would be making a choice as well); the inclination towards wanting to say that he took

The Road Not Taken Vs. Mother To Son

534 words - 2 pages Paths are Like Stairs      Although they portray two very different writing styles, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and Langston Hughes’s “Mother to Son” have a few things in common, especially their meanings.      In “The Road not Taken” Frost speaks of a time in his life where he had to make a choice, a choice of which direction his life was about to go: “Two roads diverged in a yellow