Since the majority of the effort for this project went into the creation of the body of the play, the aim of the research aspect was more to provide context for the analogies that are being created in parallelizing Ajax and Boromir, as well as their worlds.

  To that end, imagine a world on the cusp of the changing of the Ages. What once was great has faded. Mighty blood once flowed in the veins of the heroes whose names define the Age itself, but now, it is fading, and the world itself seems to hold its breath for one last, explosive exhalation, to demark the end of this time and the start of the next. Forces marshal against each other, resolute, and meet in lethal combat, felling countless soldiers. And yet, at the end, though the age was defined by martial might, the conflict is won not by strength of arms, but by subterfuge, by quick and clever individuals who creep into the lair of their enemies and destroy them from within. This changing of the times is plot and backdrop to the Lord of the Rings, yes, but also to the Trojan War. Tolkien's Third Age, the end of which is marked by the War of the Ring, is not so different from Hesiod's Fourth Age, the Heroic Age, ended by the Trojan War. Both mark the fading of nobler blood from humanity, the separation of the mystical and the physical, the transition from myth into 'present' (Tolkien; Luce).

  The parallels become discomfiting accurate once we take into account not simply the backdrop to the stories of Boromir and Ajax, but the heroes themselves. Both are the favored sons of powerful lords, large in size and known for military prowess. Ajax's name is synonymous with the Bulwark of the Acheans, and Boromir speaks of himself when he refers to men of Gondor as the Bulwark of the West (Tolkien 125; Libran). Miryam Libran, in "Parallel Lives" takes an extensive look at these and other similarities, externally, psychologically, through the manner of their death, and in relation to their younger brothers beyond the scope of this segment. The most interesting part, however, is in the manner of their downfall. Both Ajax and Boromir seek something they feel is theirs by right. For Ajax, it is the armor of Achilles, and for Boromir, as exemplified on page 416, the Ring: "It might have been mine! It should be mine!". The defiance of this will feels to them like a theft. An outside force throws upon them a madness (For Boromir, the power of the Ring, and for Ajax, Athena) through which they feel they shame themselves. Ajax feels impotent that he was unable to murder Odysseus, while Boromir feels that he has betrayed Frodo. Of course, the sources of their shames are different, but it remains that they are redeemed through death, Ajax at his own hand, and Boromir at the hands of Uruk-hai (Sophocles; Tolkien).

   Ultimately, the death of Boromir is part of the transition from Tolkien's own unspoken Age of Heroes to another Age. His might as a warrior is not what wins the day, and he never takes possession of the object he desired. His death marks a loss that can never be regained, part of the same fading as the passing of the elves from Middle-Earth, just as Ajax's passing, along with Achilles and others, signifies the end of the age of heroes who carry the blood of gods.