Asked • 06/14/19

What a piece of work is man - echo in The Lord of the Rings?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, after Gandalf tells Frodo the story of the One Ring and challenges him to destroy it, Frodo looks at the ring and we read this description: > how rich and beautiful was its colour, how perfect was its roundness. It was an admirable thing and altogether precious. This sounds a lot like Hamlet's famous soliloquy: > What a piece of work is man, How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, In form and moving how express and admirable (...) Is this just a coincidence or was Tolkien intentionally echoing Shakespeare here?

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