Commonalities In Tolkien's Mythopoeia

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Upon first inspection, these three Tolkien quotes arise to be not cohesive statements that appear together. “Mythopoeia” seems to be depicting the forces of good and evil; “Leaf by Niggle,” endeavors to make a claim about fate, while The Silmarillion focuses on power. While these very different statements all seem to be true on a surface level, they are unrelated to their shared theme. However, through a close reading of theses texts, these three Tolkien quotes share divine commonalities that add to the structure of Tolkien’s work. While each text tells a different story, they all have the same foundation, which is Tolkien's allusion to the divine essence, the primary material world, and the role of sub-creation that man plays in these worlds.…show more content…
“...man, Sub-creator, the refracted light/ through whom is splintered from a single White/ to many hues,”(“Mythopoeia” 61-63). Here man is depicted to be a sub-creator in his material world, but only through the residual divine essence, ‘the refracted light,’ is man being able to have the ability to sub-create successfully. This ‘refracted light,’ refers to the divine essence shining through in every man, and ‘the many hues,’ is depicting the ability of individuals sub-creating fortuitously in the primary world. In this, the poem “Mythopoeia,” shows clear reference to the divine essence, the material world, and man's role as sub-creator.
In Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle,” Niggle is a sub-creator in his material world. Because Niggle is in the imperfect material world, his sub-creations will also suffer from imperfection. As a sub-creator, Niggle is described as: “the sort of painter who can paint leaves better than trees” (“Leaf by Niggle” 100). Niggle can only create what his mind will allow him to create in the flawed state of the
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When discord occurs in The Silmarillion, it is said to prove still the world more beautiful and to create an even more phenomenal world than the one in existence. “...no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful…”(The Silmarillion 17). It is said to create this beautiful world because even the discord was part of the plan in making the world wonderful. Essentially, if a change is to be made, either intended or unintended, it can not alter the grand scheme of events because these are predisposed in the divine world. Any changes that are made are wonderful because they have a source through the divine essence. Creation and sub-creation can not take place without the divine essence. Thus, anything that is created has an air of divinity to it, or as stated in the quote above, ‘it’s uttermost source in me.’ This source refers to the divine world where the perfect creation takes place and alludes to the omniscience of the source. If man blunders in his sub-creating role and creates discord or brokenness in the material world, it still ends up being copacetic, because the divine world is considered to be omniscient of man's creation, and the result is to be wonderful and for the
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