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The Corruptive Nature of Power in J. J. R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring

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When given, or exposed to power, people may become corrupt. In J. J. R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring it is shown that when people are tempted or given power they may become corrupt. We can see this through the characters Frodo Baggins; the bearer of a powerful ring, Gollum, the previous bearer, and lastly it is shown through Bilbo Baggins another bearer.
When given great power some people become corrupt. Frodo Baggins displays this in The Fellowship of the Ring. He is trusted to hold and protect the one ring of power and immediately he develops traits that show that he is becoming excessively protective of the ring. “Frodo drew the Ring out of his pocket again and looked at it. It now appeared plain and smooth, without mark or
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191). During this event Frodo is being attacked by enemies. At the same time the power of the ring is tempting. He gives in because he is already corrupt with the power of the ring. This shows that when he has the power he abuses it and becomes corrupt.
Gollum, previously known as Smeagol, is one of the first bearers of the ring of power, and when he comes into the ring’s presence for the first time, the power makes him so corrupt that to get his hands on it he kills his friend Deagol. “‘ Smeagol had been watching him from behind a tree, and as Deagol gloated over the ring, Smeagol came softly up behind. “Give us that, Deagol, my love,” said Smeagol, over his friend’s shoulder. “Why?” said Deagol. “ Because it’s my birthday, my love, and I wants it,” said Smeagol. “I don’t care,” said Deagol. “I have given you a present already, more than I could afford. I found this, and I’m going to keep it.” “Oh, are you indeed, my love,” said Smeagol; and he caught Deagol by the throat and strangled him, because the gold looked so bright and beautiful. Then he put the ring on his finger’” (Tolkein Pg. 52). This text shows that Gollum, or Smeagol, is corrupt due to the rings power only by being around it. The need for the ring was so great that it pushed him to kill, a devastating act on its own, but he kills his own friend. This proves that with the power of the ring Gollum becomes immensely corrupt. After Gollum first obtains the ring he grows to feel a great hatred
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