Present-day rhetorical scholarship has largely rectified the neglect of kairos James Kinneavy noted in 1986. However, the ancient Greek concept combining temporal-spatial factors, due measure, situational adaptability, and perfect timing has not seen much use in the rhetorical study of fiction. The application of kairos, a foundational rhetorical device, to fiction has the potential to generate new insights on familiar subject matter. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) may seem an unlikely choice for such inquiry, but there are several factors that make it especially suited to such analysis. Chief among these are the numerous parrallels between the historic depths of meaning in the Greek kairos and Tolkien's eucatastrophe. This thesis examines these connections in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings novels to argue for a rhetorical understanding of Tolkien's narrative in light of his personal writings and contemporary rhetorical theory.

Date of publication

Spring 4-24-2019

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Jessop, Dr. Streufert, and Dr. Standridge


Master of Arts in English