Monthly Archives: April 2014

Sauron, Saruman and Owen Barfield

Invisible Kingdoms

I have sometimes wondered why Tolkien chose to represent two poles of evil in Lord of the Rings that of Sauron and Saruman, an unusual structure both in fantastic fiction and in the epic myths from which the story grew. Amongst other ideas it has been suggested that the relationship of Sauron to Saruman reflects the relationship of the various dictators of the Second World War but I find no major evidence of this in the text. A more convincing explanation is that it is part of a theme of how even the supposedly wise and virtuous can be seduced by evil- with the proud Saruman  seduced by Sauron in a way the more humble hobbits are not.

‘A strong place and wonderful was Isengard, and long it had been beautiful. But Saruman had slowly shaped it to his shifting purposes, and made it better, as he thought, being deceived-for…

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