J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion
a seminal mythological work and inspirational source for the author’s conception of Middle Earth
J.R.R. Tolkien’s “enigmatic and unfinished” book The Silmarillion – posthumously published by Christopher Tolkien in 1977 – is often referred to as being a mythic work, or a collection of mythopoeic tales, but what exactly does that description entail? Logically, Tolkien’s writings, by virtue of being labeled ‘mythic’ alongside of mythologies such as The Iliad, Metamorphoses, and The Odyssey, must possess qualities which warrant the description. While Tolkien’s mythology is in a different category since his mythology is specifically designed for Middle-earth, there are still important overlaps through which inspiration and influences may be traced.