The Thoughtful and The Ignorant Beowulf

In this paper I will discuss differences between the movie Beowulf and the epic poem Beowulf. These differences show not only a personality changes in the main character but a power change in the main character. By the end of this paper you will see that one plays on the light of Beowulf, and one plays on the darkness of Beowulf. You’ll see that Beowulf and Grendel are extraordinary in ability in one take, and ordinary men in the other. The personality change in Beowulf between the poem and the film are extreme. The poem seems to highlight the good or light of Beowulf, whereas the movie appears to draw out the bad or darkness of Beowulf. In the epic poem of Beowulf, Beowulf is the epic hero, who has no flaws and strives for honor and glory. In the poem, Beowulf is an epic hero who is honest, dignified, and moral. Whereas in the movie, Beowulf is a tragic hero, who is doomed to fail because of the many tragic flaws he possesses. In the film, Beowulf is a tragic hero who acts on impulse and lets his pride, ego, selfishness, and lust get the best of him. There is a very significant difference between the epic poem and the movie, which changes the way we view Beowulf.

In the poem Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother to rid Heorot of the chaos that arises after the death of Grendel. This act was done for the good of the people of Heorot, painting Beowulf as an honorable hero. However, in the movie Beowulf doesn’t kill Grendel’s mother because of a deal they made, instead he lies with her. After doing this, he lies to the people of Heorot and tells them she’s dead. This action paints Beowulf as a lustful, selfish, and disgraced hero. In the epic poem Beowulf is painted as a God, he’s perfect and does no wrong. His actions are done for the good of others and bring him honor and glory. Grendel on the other hand is painted as a demon/monster, he wreaks havoc and sheds blood for pointless reasons. His actions are done for self-satisfaction and the desire to see others suffer.

In the movie Beowulf and Grendel are more like ordinary men, or just seem more human. Their actions are typical responses of that time period that any ordinary man might make, they have flaws, and they act on their desires. Beowulf was presented in two different viewpoints, in two different manners. In this paper I discussed the differences of the epic poem and the film Beowulf. You learn that in the epic it paints Beowulf and Grendel in an unrealistic outlook; a god and a demon. Through time we notice that whereas in the 6th century where we exaggerate the abilities of man, in modern time we bluntly show the mortality of man. You see the change in personality, how Beowulf goes from moral and just, to egotistical and lustful.

What do you think?

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