Beowulf: Movie (2007) Versus Epic Poem

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Beowulf: Movie (2007) versus Epic Poem Beowulf is the oldest surviving English poem that tells of a struggle against man and beast. The story is set in early sixth century coastal Northumbria. Some elements in the poem lead readers to believe the poet was a monk. There have been many translations of the poem but the basic tale is the same throughout. Most recently, the epic has been made into a movie. Although the story of Beowulf is similar in the movie and the poem, there are many obvious differences. One of the major differences is in the character of Beowulf. The poem portrayed Beowulf as a perfect Anglo-Saxon hero. However, in the movie he possessed a flaw that would change the course of the story. His love of women completely changed the tale. In the poem, Beowulf battled Grendel’s mother and killed her. In the movie, he couldn’t resist her and lied about killing her. He ended up fathering her child and created a dragon that would destroy the community. By not killing Grendel’s mother, Beowulf just lengthened her reign. She was still there to entice the next king and disturb the people. Her power was still over the land until someone could overcome the urges and temptations she brought upon them. Another difference is the appearance of Herot’s Hall. The poem describes it as, ‘gold-shining’ (line 7) and ‘…beautiful walls; Shaped and fastened with iron, inside And out, artfully worked…’ (lines 63-65). The movie showed Herot’s Hall as being a dark, damp building. People still celebrated and drank, but there wasn’t any evidence of gold, beautiful walls, or shaped iron. The poem had a more vivid, bright description of the celebration hall, while the movie shot down any depiction somebody might have. A similarity that was expressed was the Anglo-Saxon characteristics of a hero. Beowulf showed aspects of strength, wisdom, and courage. He was willing to face

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