J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, uses the ring to signify evil. Whoever has the ring becomes mentally, psychologically, and emotionally immoral in a specific way. As seen in the segment titled “The Fellowship with the Ring,” the ring is linked to not only witchcraft but also magic and misery. J.R.R. Tolkien, in particular, shows how the ring’s wielding power could corrupt all who possessed it: “one ring to rule all of them, locate them and put them all, and in the darkness bind them” (Zell-Ravenheart 235). From the perspective of Tolkien, the ring is the evilest thing on the Middle Earth because it sired and promoted cruelty, domination and the worst physical embodiment that is heard and felt. Some people such as Gandalf and Sméagol knew the powers that the ring is endowed with while others never knew at all. As a matter of fact, the ring not only had active and mysterious powers but is also dangerous to earthily creatures. However, even among those that were aware that the ring is a danger to the entire earth, they did not want it to be removed because it enabled them to achieve their personal goals. Among the creatures that held the ring but never destroyed it were Isidur and Sméagol (Gollum).However, Frodo Baggins took a perilous journey to the Cracks of Doom on Mountain Mordor and destroyed it This essay demonstrates how Frodo is corrupted by the ring and how he depicted extraordinary powers against the expectations of the creatures in the Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings
One of the most disturbing trends in the Lord of the Rings is the corruption of Frodo Baggins by the ring. Despite that he remains strong in the journey, the ring breaks his willpower gradually and twisted him from the hobbit with no desire to possess the powerful ring to a character that finds it incredibly hard to part with it. From the beginning, all creatures that possessed the ring were addicted to it that they were unwilling to part with it thereafter. Frodo is chosen to the ring to its place of destruction because he does not possess such greed. He already knows that the ring is evil and can corrupt whoever that it comes into contact with courtesy of Gandalf. For instance, it had warped and corrupted his perception about Bilbo, Sam, and Boromir on different occasions such as when Boromir requests him to take the ring to Gondor (Purtill). Despite that he is chosen for his wisdom and has good intentions from the Shire, the wielding power of the ring corrupts his mind like any other creature that came into contact with the ring previously (Harvey).
Frodo is filled with excitement that he begins display the power of the ring openly among his friends without fear of its danger. The first sign of such influence is seen in as an inn in Bree. During a raucous chorus, Frodo ends the song by jumping in the air and using the ring’s magic to disappear (Tolkien 2004). Such actions are against the early warnings of Gandalf. Again, the audience sees how the ring has corrupted Frodo in Elrond’s house when Frodo meets his uncle Bilbo. When Bilbo asks for the ring, Frodo is highly reluctant to show it to him despite that he understands that Bilbo does not have an intention of the ring. Surprisingly, Frodo had received the Ring from Bilbo himself but he is unwilling to give it back to him. As a matter of fact, the possessiveness that Frodo has for the ring gradually increases as he spends more time with the ring, which makes him think that the ring is actually his and he can use it as he wishes.
Again, the corruption that the ring has on Frodo is revealed when Frodo meets the Morgul King, the leader of the Nine Riders. At that time, Frodo reveals that he is not in control of the part of him that wants to reach for the ring. The most obvious point to the corruption of the ring is in the return of the Ring when he suffers several disorders. Frodo is divided between destroying the ring and keeping it. ”But I do not choose to do what I came to do”. It is Sméagol’s attempt to bite the ring out of his hand the ring falls into the fire of the volcanos and gets destroyed alongside Sméagol. Despite that the ring is eventually destroyed, Frodo s scarred by its power thereafter. For instance, he suffers several disorders including nausea during the anniversary of the loss of the ring. His unwillingness to socialize when he gets back to the Shire might be an indicator of the influence of the ring. Despite that he is corrupted by the power of the ring, Frodo proves to be the strongest character among all the characters used by Tolkien’s in the Lord of the Rings. He knows what the ring is doing to him on different occasions unlike other hungry characters in the novel such as Isidur, Bilbo and Sméagol.
Apparently, as the journey to the mountain progresses, the corruption of his mind becomes more apparent. The epitome of corruption of his mind as a result of possessing the ring and using its powers wrongfully is revealed when Frodo himself admits that he has been influenced by the ring and he is incapable of destroying it as instructed by Gandalf. At that time, Frodo goes through internal struggle and eventually confesses that he has been influenced by the ring. He acknowledges that there are two powers striking him and he is perfectly balanced between the two points. With great self-control, Frodo regains his control over the powers of the ring and opts to destroy it.
The Lord of the Rings is a reflection of personal choice, power and morality. The powers, as indicated by Frodo and Bilbo include becoming invisible (Bassham, and Eric, 6). Gandalf, Bilbo, Isidur and Frodo indicate how people utilize power given to them in a different way. Bilbo and Isidur use the ring of power for personal gain and doing evil respectively. Gandalf and Frodo opt to cast away evil powers of the ring to prevent suffering in the Middle Earth. The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien presents the audience with a stereotypical hobbit that that loves walking and partying with his friends. His major worries are the small concerns of the shire. The happenings of the outside world are the least of his worries. Nonetheless, he seems to have little interest in traveling far away from the Shire. The calling to take the ring to the Mountain of Doom is the first time that the leader learners that he is about to travel far away from his home. He learns from Gandalf that the ring can easily corrupt him, making him hard-pressed to take it. In fact, he asks Gandalf to allow him not to take the ring at first (New York Times). Frodo’s options include melting the ring or having Gandalf take it with him instead. He accepts the ring after realizing that neither of the options is viable. Being a hobbit, Frodo is small and powerless and is not used to magic. However, after taking it, he gradually transforms to a powerful creature because of the power that is given to him by the ring.
Tolkien suggests that as time passes, Frodo becomes increasingly addicted to the power of the ring. He likes putting on the ring whenever he wishes and uses its power to pursue personal goals. For instance, prior to confronting the Ringwraiths stabbing the Lord of the Nazgul, he puts on the ring. In addition, at Amon Hen, Frodo puts on the ring when Boromir attempted to take it from him (Tolkien 2012, The Two Towers, 2-3). Eventually, he is tempted to take the ring as his own like everyone else which is a compromise of his mission. As suggested by J.R.R. Tolkien, by wearing the ring, Frodo also becomes obsessed with it that he also wants to keep it at the Cracks of Doom, on Mountain Mordor. He states that when they get closer to the Mountain of Doom, Frodo becomes increasingly possessive of the ring. There is irony in the story because by the time Frodo believes that he has mastered the Ring hence does not want it to be destroyed. It is the ring that had actually taken complete mastery of him and converted his will into its will.
The ring has the power to make a person do evil as he wishes but Frodo demonstrates ability of overcoming it despite the challenges that come with it. Actually, the ring had the actual power of Lord Sauron himself but with a good will, Frodo defeated its powers (Rutledge 55). It had corrupted many people earlier on such as Isidur, and it is the main reason that it has not been destroyed. Frodo has a stronger will than the ring. As described by Gandalf, the ring not only had power but also a will of its own hence it could seek to avoid destruction. Therefore, it is sound to believe that Frodo was fighting the will of the ring rather than trying to keep it for himself at the Mountain of Doom. His meditation to keep the ring on the mountain of doom is a fight of the ring for itself. In the Cracks of Doom, the ring was trying to get him hold onto it much harder and he gives in temporarily. The events on the mountain is therefore a reflection of how the ring could seduce people because of its power, even those that are bent on doing a good deed by destroying it forever.
Frodo demonstrates determination to destroy the ring regardless of the encounter and potential effects of doing it. His capability of travelling over a long distance and overcoming the will of the ring demonstrates his power. It is until when he reaches the destination of destroying the ring that the ideal power of the ring catches on him and weakens his defenses. Like Isidur, the ring tried to corrupt his mind, making it hard for him to cast it into the fire of the cracks of doom. Apparently, the scene is a reflection of the ring’s strong powers that could corrupt even hobbits. His power to overcome the power of the ring is his immunity to the effects of the ring. As a matter of fact, one can argue that the events that take place in the cracks of doom result from Frodo’s holding of the ring for long. By his ability to take the ring to the mountain of doom and destroying it, it is sound to conclude that Frodo demonstrated power to overcame the strong influence that the ring had on its holders, especially calming down the will to destroy it. He did not change his mind to use the ring in gaining power (Hoek et al, 35).
Tolkien also demonstrates how power can corrupt the mind using the events that occur in the midway between The Two Towers. There, Frodo and Sam agree that they can go with Gollum to the Cracks of Doom. However, he makes Sméagol swear that he will not commit treachery in the course of the journey and Sméagol agrees to swear by the ring. At this time, the difference between Sam and Frodo regarding corruption by the ring emerges. While Sam does not trust because the assessment of his character fails to indicate such trust, Sméagol, Frodo trusts him, thereby indicating that Frodo is more corrupted by the ring than Sam. Frodo believes that Sméagol is going to be bound by his promise. Ideally, at this point, there is an indication that Frodo believes that he is highly in control of the ring while Sam does not think so. The ring is destroyed after Sméagol has attempted to bite it from him (Curry 4). However, because Frodo had managed to take it to the mountain, the ring is bound to be destroyed and perhaps, Sam would help him destroy it if Gollum did not do it. Perhaps it Sméagol is bound to be destroyed alongside the ring because of his failure to act in accordance with the expectations of hobbits such as exhibiting freedom from greed.
The failure of Frodo on the Mountain of Doom is different from other heroes in folklore. In most myths such as Oedipus and Jason of the Argonauts, tragic heroes are undone by hubris, and some are defeated in their final quests such as Beowulf. Such heroes do not turn against their quests and abandon them at the point of achieving them. The scenario begs a question on whether Frodo can be categorized as a hero or not. First, he is a hobbit but he has courage and Stamina to carry the ring of doom to its destruction point and can courageously confront all creatures that seek to snatch it from him using the power given to him by the ring. Despite that Lord Sauron is searching for the whereabouts of the ring. Secondly, few characters would have done what he did without succumbing to the power of the ring. The primary cause of Frodo’s downfall might not be his lack of will but the abundance of the will, which is amplified by the ring’s evil. The One Ring is an amplifier that boosts the bearer of the ring and converts it to its own. An idea emerges that Frodo was chosen because of his will; if the ring could boost the will of the reluctant Frodo to the point of attempting to avoid destroying, then, it would have done more for those with a stronger will to destroy it such as Gandalf and Boromir. Frodo’s account of the story is a form of heroic tragedy because he leaves his home that is peaceful and accomplishes his goal only to incur a great cost himself.
In conclusion, the ring in the Lord of the Rings makes Frodo corrupt and partially drunk with power. Frodo’s relationship with the power of the ring evolves all along. First, as time passes in the course of his journey to the Cracks of Doom, Frodo becomes increasingly dependent on the ring. Before confronting an enemy he wears it. Later, he begins to believe that he has power to control the will of the ring as expressed in the swearing of Sméagol near the two towers. Lastly, Frodo becomes so addicted to the ring that possessive of the ring that he begins to think about avoiding to destroy it. The three attributes indicate the ideal stages of evil powers. However, because he successfully completed a journey from the Shire to Mountain Mordor, to destroy the magic ring, Frodo indicates power to overcome the forces of corruption of the mind unlike his predecessors such as Isidur. The power that the ring is associated with corrupts the mind of Frodo, For instance, he refuses to give the rig to Frodo in Elrond’s house despite that he had been given the ring by him. The incidence indicates possessiveness of what does not actually belong to him, which is a form of corruption of the mind. In addition, upon reaching the Cracks of Doom, Frodo depicts reluctance to destroy the ring. However, he understands that destroying the ring was his primary mission to Mountain Mordor. Such shift from the primary goal of the perilous journey is an indication of corruption of his mind.
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