The Lay of Leithian
The title of the poem, "leithian" is an Elvish word which derives from "leithia," meaning "release." It is translated to "release from bondage" by the author. It is not known what the title refers to wherefore there are several possible interpretations.
Furthermore the title bears a strong resemblance to the word "Leithien," the name for
Englandin earlier versions of Tolkien's legendarium. This similarity may have been intentional.
After the ruin of his land in the Battle of Sudden Flame the Man Beren fled into the elvish realm
Doriath. There he met the Elf-maiden Lúthien and they fell in love with each other. Thingol, the father of Lúthien, did not want his daughter to marry a mortal man. Therefore he asked Beren for a Silmaril, one of the hallowed jewels which the Dark Lord Morgothhad stolen from the Elves, as the bride price. With the help of Huan and Finrod Felagund, Beren and Lúthien defeated Sauronand came to Angband, where they stole a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown. The unfinished poem ends when they encounter the wolf Carcharothat the gate of Angband.
Besides the main story the poem also tells of many events which happened before, like the meeting of Thingol and Melian, the
oath of Fëanor, the return of the Noldor, the war of Beleriand and the duel of Fingolfinand Morgoth.
The poem consists of over 4200 lines of
iambic octameter. It is written in rhyming couplets.
Tolkien worked on "The Lay of Leithian" from the summer of 1925 until September 1931, when he abandoned it with only thirteen of the seventeen planned cantos completed. During the composition he made many amendments of the already existing parts of the poem, partially based on the criticism of his friend
C. S. Lewiswho had read the poem in 1929. In the 1950s, after the publishing of " The Lord of the Rings", he resumed working on the poem, of which he rewrote many passages, particularly of the second canto which was expanded and split into two. Nevertheless the poem never reached a complete or definite form.
In 1937 Tolkien sent the current version of "The Lay of Leithian" together with a prose version of the yet unfinished part of the poem to his publisher
Allen & Unwinwho had asked for further material of his fictional world after the success of " The Hobbit". As Tolkien did not add any further information on the text the reader who was given it believed the poem to be an attempt to retell the prose version, which he thought to be a Celtic tale. Despite praising the prose he criticized the poem wherefore it was rejected. In 1985 the poem was published posthumously in " The Lays of Beleriand", the third volume of " The History of Middle-earth". The two versions of the poem are given independently, and the development of them is commented on in detail by Christopher Tolkien.
* [http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Lay_of_Leithian Lay of Leithian] at the Tolkien Gateway, with a [http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Cantos_of_the_Lay_of_Leithian Canto-by-canto] analysis
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Lay of Leithian — Das Lay of Leithian ist eines von zwei großen unvollendeten epischen Gedichten des englischen Schriftstellers J. R. R. Tolkien. Der komplette Titel lautet The Gest of Beren son of Barahir and Lúthien the Fay called Tinúviel the Nightingale or the … Deutsch Wikipedia
Lay of Leithian — Álbum de estudio de Ainur Publicación 16 de noviembre de 2009 Grabación de enero a junio de 2009, en los Play Studios y en los Ainur Studios Género(s) rock progresivo, rock sinfónico … Wikipedia Español
Lay of Leithian — The long poem concerning the lives of Beren and Lúthien from which the prose account in The Silmarillion was derived. Leithian is translated Release from Bondage … J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary
The Lays of Beleriand — published in 1985, is the third volume of Christopher Tolkien s 12 volume book series, The History of Middle earth, in which he analyzes the unpublished manuscripts of his father J. R. R. Tolkien. The book contains the long lays or poems Tolkien … Wikipedia
The Tale of Beren and Lúthien — is the story of the love and adventures of the mortal Man Beren and the immortal Elf maiden Lúthien, as told in several works of J. R. R. Tolkien. It takes place during the First Age of Middle earth, about 6500 years The Encyclopedia of Arda… … Wikipedia
Leithian — Das Lay of Leithian ist eines von zwei großen unvollendeten epischen Gedichten des englischen Schriftstellers J. R. R. Tolkien. Der komplette Titel lautet The Gest of Beren son of Barahir and Lúthien the Fay called Tinúviel the Nightingale or the … Deutsch Wikipedia
Leithian-Lied — Das Lay of Leithian ist eines von zwei großen unvollendeten epischen Gedichten des englischen Schriftstellers J. R. R. Tolkien. Der komplette Titel lautet The Gest of Beren son of Barahir and Lúthien the Fay called Tinúviel the Nightingale or the … Deutsch Wikipedia
The Silmarillion — Infobox Book | name = The Silmarillion title orig = translator = image caption = 1977 George Allen Unwin hardback edition. author = J. R. R. Tolkien illustrator = cover artist = country = United Kingdom language = English series = genre =… … Wikipedia
The Notion Club Papers — Middle earth portal The Notion Club Papers is the title of an abandoned novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, written during 1945 and published posthumously in Sauron Defeated, the 9th volume of The History of Middle earth. It is a space/time/dream travel… … Wikipedia
Outline of Middle-earth — The following outline is presented as an overview of and topical guide about Tolkien s fantasy universe: Middle earth – fictional setting of the majority of author J. R. R. Tolkien s fantasy writings. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take… … Wikipedia