Compare And Contrast Epic Poem And Beowulf

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“Beowulf” is one of the oldest and most legendary tales of strength and valor. It only makes sense that this story would eventually be adapted by Hollywood into a film. Despite the story being as engaging as it already is, the most recent film adaption strays far from the epic poem. These changes affect the characters, themes, and plot. Though both the poem and the film are good on their own, the film’s meaning does not stay true to the original story it pays homage to. In the plot of the original epic poem, Beowulf is put through three major battles. He first fights Grendel, an evil monster from the moorland who terrorizes the Danish mead hall Heorot. Then he fights Grendel’s mother, a creature much like Grendel who hides in the waters of …show more content…
He is portrayed as an epic hero that can withstand anything. In the movie, on the other hand, Beowulf lies and is sometimes very cowardly. It could be argued that this was done to humanize the character, but unfortunately this lead to Beowulf’s death against his son, the dragon, to be very unrighteous. Because he lied about killing Grendel’s mother, his character’s death isn’t as honorable as it was in the poem. It felt unsatisfying that he died the way he did. Another character hugely affected by the plot changes was king Hrothgar. In the movie, Hrothgar is portrayed as a coward and a bit of a drunk. It is also hinted that he conceived a child with Grendel’s mother. That child ended being Grendel. In the movie, when Beowulf questions who Grendel’s father is, Hrothgar tells him not to worry and that, “Grendel’s father can harm no man.” Later in the movie he tells Beowulf, “Grendel is dead. That is all that matters to me. He can bother me no more. His mother, the hag, she’s not my curse. She’s yours.” He then leaves Beowulf his kingdom before jumping to his death from the top of a cliff. Other characters, like Wiglaf, play vital characters throughout the entire story, not just until the very end. The character that stood out the most in film was Grendel. Grendel is portrayed in a very ominously in the poem. This leaves the reader to create their own twisted imagery. The films portrayal satisfies every disgusting detail you can …show more content…
The poem, for example, referred to Christianity as well as some pagan beliefs. The movie mostly only refers to pagan gods that weren’t even mentioned in the original story. Another theme that was changed in the movie is Beowulf’s constant heroism. Beowulf is seen as a hero throughout the poem, and when he is told not to let pride get in his way of being a great man he listens. The Beowulf from the film does not do the same. He lets his desire for power take control of him. He lies to everyone about slaying Grendel’s mother and instead makes a deal with her for the throne. When Beowulf finally dies, he dies realizing the mistakes he made. He tells Wiglaf not to remember him as a king, but as a man who had

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