Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts




This thesis is an investigation of several of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Although its main focus is on the two drafts of the alliterative poem The Lay of the Children of Húrin, other drafts of the tale itself will also be examined. These other tales are Turambar and the Fóalokë,Of Túrin Turambar, and Narn I Hin Hurin. Tolkien was linguistic and literary scholar at Oxford University. His primary interest was medieval language and literature. Although this was his trade, he is best known for his works of fantasy fiction. What I will examine in this paper is how faithful Tolkien was to the medieval world view within the specific works listed above.;More precisely I will be investigating his depiction of Nature within these tales in order to determine if that depiction is medieval, in keeping with the literature in which he immersed himself. I propose to look at Nature in several aspects: Nature as setting, Nature and character as mirror, Nature as agent, Nature as metaphysics. I will look at hierarchy, cosmology, and animacy, and metaphysics. Attempting to discern which view was Tolkien's personal view is outside the scope of this paper. My goal and interest is solely in his depiction.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Samuel J. Gesch



OCLC Number


File Format


File Size

53 pages