Essay Bilbo Baggins: A True Hero?

1409 Words Nov 13th, 2013 6 Pages
Preston
English 1301
12 November 2012
Bilbo: A True Hero? What is a hero? Is it someone who possesses great strength and bravery, or is it someone who attains fame and wealth? In the world of Middle Earth that J.R.R Tolkien has created, Bilbo Baggins shows us that a hero can be quite the opposite. He is offered (and partially set up by Gandalf the wizard) to partake in an adventure as a burglar to help reclaim the bearded Dwarves’ homeland from the dragon Smaug. The little hobbit is frightened by the mere thought of danger, but the adventure in him ignites and causes him to agree. Through a series of events, Tolkien uses Bilbo’s characterization and ethics to portray the overall theme of heroism. Bilbo certainly does not
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He is actually quite sensitive, unlike the ruthless characters we see in most heroic stories. Bilbo’s sensitivity can be seen at his described reaction to the dwarves’ song of war; “Bilbo’s heart fell, both at the song and the talk: they sounded much too warlike” (Tolkien 236). His feelings towards war and danger make one wonder why he was chosen to go on this adventure, for his personality thus far has not shown how he could possibly be of assistance in reclaiming the land of the dwarves. Bilbo can be seen as the “anti-hero,” or someone who lacks the attributes of a stereotypical hero, but develops into one anyways. All of the preceding information conjures up the image of Mr. Baggins as a scared, vulnerable companion to this adventure. However, his courage and heroism begin to blossom at his signing of the contract that clearly explains he may not come back alive, or the same as he was before for that matter. His fear is at the doorstep of his consciousness, but he signs and accompanies anyways. From this there is a clear foreshadowing to Bilbo’s slowly growing courage. Next, the typical hero is usually found with great weapons and armor to accompany them on their quest. Bilbo begins to share this attribute when he acquires the sword Sting, ancient elvish chain mail armor, and a ring of invisibility. To obtain Sting, Bilbo first had to steal the key to the treasure of the trolls (foes of the dwarven people) which shows a

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