Both The Hobbit and Beowulf have a place in the hearts of many readers across the world. In this article, we will discuss the concept of Anglo-Saxon gift-giving and the importance it played in the culture. This cultural norm was present in multiple forms of medieval literature, particularly in the epic poem mentioned above, Beowulf. I believe that this precedent of gift-giving was transmitted to the citizens of the culture as a form of “medieval propaganda” that encouraged the people to abide by said cultural norm, and expressed the punishment of failing to follow through. Furthermore, I believe that the positive aspects of Anglo-Saxon gift-giving are present in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and he is his fantasy novel as a way to transmit the idea of this ancient form of reciprocity to a modern audience.
Tomusko, Emily J..
"There and Back Again: The Epic Hero's Journey Through Gift-Giving."
The Downtown Review.
Available at: https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/tdr/vol1/iss2/1
Literature in English, British Isles Commons, Medieval Studies Commons, Modern Literature Commons