The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2475 Monday, 30 December 2002
Date: Saturday, 28 Dec 2002 22:13:18 -0500
Subject: 13.2441 Re: Tolkien and Shakespeare
Comment: Re: SHK 13.2441 Re: Tolkien and Shakespeare
>Battle of Helm's Deep might also echo the battle of Agincourt. The
>humans are vastly outnumbered by the orcs (300 against 100,000, at least
Brian Willis exaggerates: the initial odds, as stated in the film, are
about three hundred (men) to about ten thousand (orcs--this number is
repeated). They sink somewhat with the arrival of what appears to be a
couple of hundred elves. Even 500 to 10,000 (20 to 1) is a good bit
longer than Agincourt. Shakespeare, as often, is inconsistent
here--"threescore thousand" French, making odds of "five to one"
(4.3.3-4), making 12,000 English at the beginning of the scene, but only
"five thousand" at line 76 of the same scene (12 to 1). On the other
hand, the Rohirrim are in a strongly fortified defensive position, with
their women and children behind them, not in a muddy field a couple of
hundred wet miles from home.
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