Tolkien the playwright

— Anna Smol, Professor of English, Mount Saint Vincent University

Paper given 8 May 2021 at Session 1

In this paper, I discuss Tolkien’s only published play, The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son.” I point out his personal interest in dramatic performance from an early age, and his adult recitations of various texts, such as Chaucer’s Reeve’s Tale, Beowulf, passages from The Hobbit, and his recording of The Homecoming.” I examine the stage directions in various drafts of The Homecoming” that indicate Tolkien’s expectation that the play could be performed on stage. I contend that besides illustrating themes that connect to other texts by Tolkien, the play is remarkable for its handling of various styles of alliterative metre. 

Special thanks to the Tolkien Society for providing their online platform to present and record these presentations!

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date recorded 📅2021-08-10
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