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This essay is from Austin Johnson
Published on November 21, 2002

Frodo and the Force:
A Comparison of Modern Epic Stories

Boromir and Saint Peter

He also shows mercy to one who has betrayed the quest, Boromir. Boromir is a favorite character. He is well liked for one simple reason. He is very human. He is very close to all of us. His intentions are good. He wants to save his kingdom. He seeks safety for his people. He is an outspoken person. In many ways he is similar to a famous traitor. This time, however, Peter is meant as the traitor, not Judas. Peter denied Christ three times because he feared what would happen. Boromir tries to stop Frodo because he fears for his people. But both of them prove true in the end. Peter is forgiven by Jesus and becomes one of the greatest apostles in history. Boromir realizes he has wronged Frodo and the quest, and fights the hordes of orcs off of the defenseless Merry and Pippin, before he is slain by the arrows of the enemy.

Jesus reinstates Peter, by asking him three times "Do you love me?" and giving him a great responsibility each time. Boromir, too faces his king one last time after his betrayal and is reinstated by Aragorn:

"Aragorn knelt beside him. Boromir opened his eyes and strove to speak. At last slow words came. 'I tried to take the Ring from Frodo,' he said. 'I am sorry. I have paid.' His glance strayed to his fallen enemies; twenty at least lay there...
... 'Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.'
'No!' said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. 'You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace. Minas Tirith shall not fall.'
Boromir smiled..." (The Two Towers, Tolkien, 18)

Whether Aragorn or Frodo is the hero to portray it, the Christian ideal is illustrated greatly in JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is truly one of the first Christian epics, whose timeless values will be shown throughout the ages.


 

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