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Beowulf: Film versus Original Essay

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The poem Beowulf was written between 700-750 A.D. by an unknown author set in Denmark and Sweden, other wise known as Scandinavia. The original Beowulf only exists in one copy, and was severely damaged by a fire. The poem was an epic with many Christian references throughout the poem. In the poem, Grendel attacks the people of the Danes at night for the loud celebrating in Herot (mead hall), that drives him mad with rage, bringing death and destruction. Beowulf kills both Grendel, and his mother, then returns to his land to later become the king of the Geats. While in the 2007 film, Beowulf kills Grendel, is seduced by Grendel’s mother, lies about killing her, and becomes king of the Danes.
The main unexpected part in the film was Grendel being the son of Hrothgar, as the dragon was the son of Beowulf. It makes sense as to why that is, it explains why Grendel and the dragon exists and belong in the whole story of Beowulf. Grendel is the curse of Hrothgar, which explains why he is beyond relieved when Beowulf brings back the head of Grendel as proof of his death. The dragon is the sin of Beowulf, who comes when one of the people takes the horn form the swamp where she lives. In the attempt of killing the dragon, Beowulf puts himself in danger by severing his own arm to reach the heart. Both the dragon and Beowulf fall, and are on the shore when the dragon morphs into a gold humanlike form before being washed away into the sea.
What was expected was for Beowulf to kill Grendel with just his bare hands, no weapons, no armor, but in the film he fought completely naked. As for Grendel’s mother wanting revenge on Beowulf for killing her only son, he tries to kill her only to find out he is powerless against her. Also for the dragon ...


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...The film version makes a lot more sense than the poem as to why Grendel was a curse to the Danes. In the poem, we only know Grendel attacks the Danes, because he does not like the loud noises they make from rejoicing and celebrating. It is not mentioned why Grendel is there, only that he is decedent from Cain and evil. The film gives more of an explanational background story as to why the creatures are there in the first place. The dragon only attacked them in the first place, because someone had taken the golden horn that Beowulf gave her. Which broke the pact she and Beowulf had. I liked Beowulf in the film better, because he was portrayed more as a epic hero. In the film he kills the dragon all by himself, without any help, and he sacrifices his arm in order to reach the dragons heart to kill him. Rather than in the poem, he gets hurt and Wiglaf kills the dragon.


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