Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English and Theatre

First Advisor

Gerald Nachtwey

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Second Advisor

Dominic Ashby

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Third Advisor

Brent Shannon

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre


J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth has been dissected and researched by philologists, medievalists, and literary theorists for decades. Though his work with languages (both historical and invented) has garnered attention over the past few decades, few scholars have looked at his languages in terms of their rhetorical functions within the narrative (as history), with the narrative (as artifacts), and without (as cultural participation). Mark Wolf’s theories on immersion is applied to Tolkien’s legendarium and illuminates his works as uniquely fixated in several modes of immersion at once. Narrative immersion is utilized to understand Tolkien’s works as a furthering of cultural values, languages, and traditions. As these elements of narrative are explored, Tolkien’s legendarium can be seen through conceptual, perceptual, and physical lenses, culminating into a syncretically immersive experience.