Beowulf and the 13th Warrior

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Death of a Warrior Hero, Birth of a Spiritual Hero Ominously, a blinding fog creeps ever so close to the hero’s encampment. The ground itself begins to tremble with the sound of an approaching terror. The troops wonder, could the tales of monsters lurking these woods be true? What monstrosity could the gods have spawned that could wreak such havoc upon these poor, innocent villagers? The alarm sounds, the women and children retreat to safety, and defenses are erected. All the while one hero prepares for glory, and the other hero entreats God for his protection. Two vastly different protagonists are depicted in Beowulf and The Thirteenth Warrior. One seeks the respect and admiration of his people, the other resembles more of a classic antihero. Although they differ vastly in their approach and their path to heroism, their common link is the will to protect those who are unable to defend themselves. Beowulf’s Norse lineage is of a proud, brawny people who pride themselves on physical strength and duty to their liege lord. When he hears that Grendel is terrorizing a poor, defenseless village, immediately he accepts the challenge of freeing them of the monstrous fiend as he seeks glory and fame among his people. In this fictional tale, Grendel is in fact a monster and is described as a direct descendent of Cain with an insatiable thirst for blood. Beowulf closely parallels the first of the thirteen warriors, Buliwyf, who leads a group of Norsemen and a reluctant Arab ambassador to defeat what is described as a monster very reminiscent, if not a full impersonation of Grendel. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the film is an interpretation and homage to Beowulf, as the group of thirteen warriors, with the exception of the thirteenth Arab, closely resemble the fourteen Norse warriors of the novel. It is the film however, that introduces to us a different kind

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