The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Allusions and Cultural References
When authors give shout outs to other great works, people, and events, it's usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
There are no direct references in The Hobbit. Nowhere does Tolkien say, "Check out Beowulf! I like it and it's good!" But there are many, many texts that have influenced The Hobbit. We mention several in "In a Nutshell." We also highly recommend Douglas A. Anderson's Annotated Hobbit and Tom Shippey's The Road to Middle-earth for more.