Tolkien's Usage of "Thou" and "Thee"

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Story Summary

An essay on the archaic familiar pronoun.
 

 

Chapter List

Ch# Title Words Com. Updated
1 Tolkien's Usage of "Thou" and "Thee" 3,148 7 03 Jun 07
Appx. Word Count 3,148 7  
 

 

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Tolkien's Usage of "Thou" and "Thee"

DrummerWench - 19 May 07 - 9:51 AM

General Comment

Thank you, Adaneth, Gwynnyd, and IVIaedhros, for your encouraging comments!  Grin I'm glad you find it useful and understandable.

DW

Tolkien's Usage of "Thou" and "Thee"

DrummerWench - 22 May 07 - 6:20 PM

General Comment

Hi, Juno & Agape
Thanks for your appreciative comments!
I had thought about adding a bit on the possessive & verb forms, though really, it's all at one's fingertips with Google.  If y'all think it's worth it, I'll see if I can come up with something (properly Tolkien-related, of course).
DW

Tolkien's Usage of "Thou" and "Thee"

erunyauve - 24 May 07 - 11:14 AM

General Comment

>>Note also, in the conversations between Aragorn and Éowyn in The Passing of the Grey Company,  he uses "you" or "your" in addressing her, that is, polite usage, while she uses the intimate "thou" and "thee".  Aragorn keeps her linguistically at arm's length, and she's trying to get closer to him.

This is so very interesting - I knew of the distinction between the words, but I'd never really looked at these passages in that context.  I think it partly fails to impress itself upon us because we know 'thee' and 'thou' only in an archaic sense.  Even when we know, objectively, that these are familiar rather than polite terms, our brains insist upon understanding them as polite because of the context in which we've seen them used.  (I think it seems a bit strange to people these days that the *familiar* form of 'you' would be used to address a deity.)

Tolkien's Usage of "Thou" and "Thee"

DrummerWench - 26 May 07 - 8:25 AM

General Comment

erunyauve wrote:

This is so very interesting - I knew of the distinction between the words, but I'd never really looked at these passages in that context.  I think it partly fails to impress itself upon us because we know 'thee' and 'thou' only in an archaic sense.  Even when we know, objectively, that these are familiar rather than polite terms, our brains insist upon understanding them as polite because of the context in which we've seen them used.  (I think it seems a bit strange to people these days that the *familiar* form of 'you' would be used to address a deity.)

Thanks, erunyauve!

Though I've read LOTR more times than I can count, I didn't pick up on this conciously until I analyzed it for this essay.  Then I went, "Oh, that's why I get this squicky feeling--I'm watching Éowyn basically humiliate before Aragorn."

Thanks for reading & commenting!Smile


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Story Information

Author: DrummerWench

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: Other

Genre: Research Article

Rating: General

Last Updated: 06/16/07

Original Post: 05/16/07

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