In The Hobbit, was bilbo an anti-hero or hero?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bilbo should be classified as a hero in The Hobbit, albeit a very unlikely one.  He begins his quest with the dwarves with very little skill or strength of arms to recommend him; however as the novel develops, the reader sees Bilbo adapt to extremely difficult situations and environments, while using his wits to survive and even overcome almost impossible obstacles.  His true turning point to full 'hero status' really arrives in the forests of Mirkwood when he not only vanquishes the spiders with his sword Sting, but also rescues the rest of the dwarves from the webs, and then later goes on to free them from the dungeons of the Elven King.  Bilbo should be considered a hero in The Hobbit, because he truly does rise to the challenges of the quest and ultimately provides valuable aid to the dwarves, helping rescue them on multiple occasions.