Beowulf Film Analysis

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The film Beowulf directed by Robert Zemeckis was an interesting, action-packed movie but does not accurately interpret the classic poem Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel as a masterpiece of literary merit. The motion picture provides the viewer with a good background of Beowulf and the epic hero’s battle with Grendel. However, beyond that the film has some major differences to the epic poem lessening the movie as a worthy work of literary merit. The film differs in major plot events, the portrayal of Beowulf, and the conflict between Grendel’s mother. The motion picture Beowulf directed by Robert Zemeckis has some significant alterations in plot events compared to the epic poem. The film does an excellent job showing the terror that Grendel imposes on the Danes with his monstrous raids on Herot. It also supports the epic poems famous battle between Grendel and Beowulf with the epic hero killing the monster. But following this battle, major plot events has some key changes contrary to the epic poem Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel. Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother in the epic poem but in the movie he makes a deal with demon leading to his downfall. In the epic poem, Beowulf returns to Geatland after he defeats Grendel’s mother where he eventually becomes king of the Geats. However, in the film they have King Hrothgar crowning Beowulf king and granting Beowulf his lovely wife, Welthow. King Hrothgar dies of old age in the epic poem but in the movie he kills himself. I believe in the movie Hrothgar knows Grendel’s mother will continue her terror upon the Danes and he does not want to be there when she does. Beowulf is portrayed in the film directed by Robert Zemeckis differently than his portrayal in the epic poem translated by Burton Raffel. In both, he has the characteristics of an epic hero by undertaking in tasks that no one else dare to attempt such as

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