Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


English Language and Literatures


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

John Muckelbauer


In the collected dialogues of Plato, Plato sets out his arguments on democracy, power, and free-will through Socrates’ interactions with his interlocutors. His understandings of morality and justice suggest that a good and moral person is the foundation for successful societies. In The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and other tales, Tolkien offers a different lens through which to observe philosophical and ethical concepts. Plato’s morality is centered around the organization and the structure of the soul. The soul is ruled by virtues which include justice and knowledge. Here, I present an analysis of key Platonic concepts by offering examples and illustrations from the fictional work of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, and asking the fundamental question: if one was given an object that granted them insurmountable power, would one still choose to live a moral life?


© 2017, Lily Howard-Hill