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Harken Not To Wild Beasts: Between Rage And Eloquence In Saruman And Thrasymachus, Dennis Wilson Wise
Journal of Tolkien Research
One of the giant gaps in Tolkien scholarship has been to miss how deeply Saruman answers the age-old antagonism between rhetoric and philosophy. Like John Milton, Tolkien cannot bring himself to trust rhetoric. It threatens the unitary truth of a divinely-revealed moral order and, ironically, Tolkien applies great rhetorical skill to convince his reader of rhetoric’s illusionary nature. In this matter Tolkien has been largely successful, since few readers (if any) question the de-privileging of Saruman’s perspective. In the process, though, I suggest that Tolkien has developed in his master rhetorician a new relationship between rhetoric (eloquence) and ...