Friday, January 7, 2011

Brothers, Part 3

Unlike his older brother, Faramir doesn’t love battle. He is a warrior and willing to fight, but not for the sake of glory. He tells Frodo in the Two Towers,

“I do not slay man or beast needlessly, and not gladly even when it is needed” (p. 307)
Later, he also says,
“I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory (Two Towers p. 314).
For Faramir, his life isn’t consumed by the glory of a warrior. He is interested in other things besides battle. Duriez points out that he loves music and old songs and tales (The J.R.R. Tolkien Handbook p. 93)

So why does he fight? What is his motivation? He fights to protect those behind him. He tells Frodo,

“I love that which they {sword, arrow, warrior} defend: the city of the Men of Numenor” (Two Towers p. 314)
Faramir fights to protect others, not to bring military glory to himself.

The Ring offers a military advantage. If one want military success, using the Ring is very tempting. This is a big reason Boromir tries to obtain the Ring; he can win more military victories. When dreaming about owning the Ring, he says,
“The Ring would give me power of command. How I would drive the hosts of Mordor, and all men would flock to my banner!” (Fellowship p.133)
When reflecting on Boromir’s fall, Faramir says that if the Ring were an object that gave military advantages, Boromir might have desired it and be allured by it since he is proud, fearless, and anxious for the victory of Minas Tirith and his own glory. Since Boromir is more concerned about military victory, the Ring has a stronger pull on him than Faramir.

Written by Becky Brasby

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