Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Frodo Baggins, the principal protagonist. Frodo is a hobbit, a member of a diminutive, peace-loving race that inhabits the Shire, a rural area in the northwest of Middle-earth. From his Uncle Bilbo, Frodo inherits a magic ring that confers the power of invisibility upon its wearer. Although he at first regards it as merely a useful toy, he comes to learn that it is in fact the Ruling Ring, an enormously powerful talisman created and lost by Sauron, the malevolent Dark Lord, ages before. Should Sauron recover the Ring, he will become powerful enough to plunge Middle-earth into an age of darkness. The Ring is a potent weapon that enables its wearer to control the wills of others, but it is inherently evil, inevitably corrupting its possessors. Rather than attempt to use it to defeat Sauron, therefore, Frodo seeks to destroy it. This, however, can be done only where the Ring was made: in the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, in the heart of Sauron’s kingdom. Pursued by Sauron’s emissaries—including monsters such as Orcs, Trolls, and the terrifying Ringwraiths—Frodo and a handful of companions undertake the apparently hopeless quest of carrying the Ring to Mount Doom. Along the way, Frodo bears the colossal burden of the Ring, which exerts an inexorable pressure upon his mind and spirit. He yields to its temptation only when he is on the point of accomplishing his quest, claiming the Ring for himself as he stands by the fiery fissures...
(The entire section is 2414 words.)
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