Replying to Pauline Alama's comment,
[. . .]
> My concept of Boromir is that in a more
> conventional adventure story, he would have been the hero: the
> warrior-adventurer, the blond, muscular firstborn nobleman who has spent many
> years bravely holding the line against the forces of evil by the might of the
> sword. By making him a failed hero and even for one crucial moment a traitor,
> Tolkien made a statement about the flaw inherent in this conventional concept
> of heroism (a sort of heroism he'd seen disastrously put to the test in WWI).
> [. . . .]
Yes, and Tolkien makes similar statements about traditional heroism in his
criticism, see George Clark's essay, "J.R.R. Tolkien and the True Hero," in
Clark's & Timmons's _J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of
Middle-earth_ (Greenwood Pr; Westport, CT; 2000).
And I wonder if you'd enjoy Eleanor Arnason's _The Sword Smith_, which
proceeds from a similar premise, and which is informed by Icelandic saga,
with perhaps some of the same ethos that Tolkien is crtiquing. Eleanor's
first novel is very hard to come by, however.... I suppose interlibrary
loan from somewhere....
-- David Lenander
293 Selby Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102-1811