Beowulf: Haywire Heroism

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Haywire Heroism
For billions of years, people have been telling stories of heroes and their adventures. As time goes on and these stories get told, evolved, and have been created into many different adaptations. One example of such evolution is the classic Anglo-Saxon tale of Beowulf. There are dozens of different versions of this classic tale, each one bringing their own twists and alterations. One of the most noticeable differences are the flaws that Beowulf inherits in some of the versions, despite being depicted as perfect in other adaptations. Contrary to other’s beliefs, Beowulf is not less of a hero due to these added flaws.
A hero is someone who is admired for their qualities and actions. In Beowulf, the villagers admire Beowulf for
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In a way, this makes the story more captivating for the audience in which it’s intended. By giving the hero flaws, you make him/her more relatable to viewers. If the hero in the story were perfect, the story would be predictable and less appealing to audiences. As everyone has flaws, giving them to Beowulf makes the story seem more realistic. This may be part of the reason that people change the story; they seek success. Also, this makes any tasks that the hero may have to do seem more challenging-thus, creating a more compelling story. If the story were the same throughout every adaptation, there would be no reason for remakes and the amount of people who saw or read newer adaptations would be small, as they already know what’s going to happen. The change from Beowulf being godly to Beowulf being flawed adds more dimension to the storyline and keeps the story …show more content…
One of the largest differences between the two adaptations, as briefly touched on earlier in this paper, are the monsters. The first villain that Beowulf is to face is Grendel, a horrible demon that terrorized the town’s social hall. In both versions Grendel is slain, but that seems to be where the similarities stop. In the poem, Beowulf must defeat Grendel’s mother who comes to seek revenge for her son’s death. Beowulf then sets on a quest to kill her. He dives into the depths of the water into her lair, risking his life. On the other hand, the film shows Beowulf and Grendel’s mother engaging in adult activities and he lets her live. The third and final monster is a dragon, many years later once he’s aged. In the film they choose to change the dragon into Beowulf’s son, whom takes on the form of a dragon as he can shapeshift. Wiglaf, in the original, rushes to Beowulf’s side when everyone else deserts him. Eventually Wiglaf is able to take down the dragon. The film shows the entire town working together to slay the dragon. These show Beowulf’s heroism in a plethora of ways. For starters, we once again see his bravery and loyalty as he helps the citizens. His actions are also very clearly heroic during these

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