Hello Apple! If you did not watch or read The Lord the Rings, do not get into a flap. Orcs are everywhere, I am sure, we could find an orc that you could like. Let’s find your Orc then! I’ll show you some examples.
Most people have a false impression about Orcs. They think that the character-Orc takes part in only LOTR, but the truth is different. As every LOTR fan knows, Tolkien‘s world mostly comes from the mythology and this is not just Greek or Scandinavian, he also utilised some writer’s or poet’s own mythology. Did you hear Beowulf? If you did, you probably remember the character Grendel. However I should tell its characteristics for the incognisants people.
Beowulf is an old English epic poem which tells a story about the fight between Grendel and humanity. The monster could never resist to the noises of people who lives by the side of itself and It starts to kill people. One day, the hero, Beowulf hears about Grendel and he comes to the place where the people is killed. Then he kills the monster. Actually the story is longer than this but I want to focus Grendel’s features instead of the story. In fact, Tolkien does not use Grendel’s features directly in his story LOTR but as far as we know, he was interested about Beowulf and he wrote an essay named as Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. This essay shows us that Tolkien was working on the epic poem and the poem was really influential for his works.
As I said just now, Grendel is a monster. Its aspects are like the Orcs. It is really huge, brutal and fallen. I want to refer by saying huge, It does not have a green, blue or similar skin color, It has hairy skin and huge like an orc. In addition to this, It is really brutal and powerful. No one could kill it without the hero Beowulf. So, we could say that Grendel could be a sample for Tolkien’s Orc. Although he works on Beowulf, It is not enough to create a race. There is one more person who influence Tolkien’s works.
William Blake is an English poet who lived during the English Romantic period, he was a Romantic poet in other words. He is mostly known with his famous poems but he also wrote a book named as The Book of Urizen. In this book, Blake created a character who is almost same with Tolkien’s Orc race.
When Blake was creating his Orc character, he was influenced with both French and American Revolutions and also biblical motifs. Because Blake’s Orc is rebellious and fallen. It symbolizes the riot and alteration during the revolutions. So, Orc is an universal symbol for these things. Plus, in The Book of Urizen, Orc has an element which is fire like LOTR’s Orc race. Actually If we gather all these informations, we realise one thing; wherever we see an orc character we have to know that there is a riot, alteration, discrimination and more.
Well Apple, what do you think? Could we call the orcs as Anarchist?
Lastly Apple, If you have any question or want to learn more about Orc, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment.
– The Worm.