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The spirit of women in Tolkien’s Arda: The representation of love and female identity in Beren and Lúthien

— Ali Ghaderi, independent scholar

Paper given 5 September 2021 at 4th day of Oxonmoot 2021

Arda’s ladies have complex identities. Although they play a few crucial roles, they are by no means less influential than men in Arda’s history. Building on this and focusing on Beren and Lúthien’s story, I intend to address the representation of female identity in relation to the course of History’ Tolkien created. To do so, I will investigate the concepts of identity and love in Lúthien’s subjectivity under the paradigms introduced through Judith Butler’s feministic reading of Hegel’s view on love. Butler argues that the object of desire is born through performativity of its representation over time. Accordingly, I will argue that pairs of love/​loss and desire/​lack lead Lúthien to uncertainty, otherness, and ambivalence. In return, this transforms Lúthien’s journey into a representation of love and a path of desire for recognition. Consequently, this desire forges for her identity a great asset to exercise its power and freedom to define and shape the spirit of her age.

Authoritative information may be found here.

permalink 🔗︁ https://tolkienists.org/00kr/
source URL 🌐Oxonmoot 2021
date recorded 📅2021-09-05
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