Beowulf: The Greatest Hero in History or Not?

Beowulf: The Greatest Hero in History or Not?

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Beowulf is a tale of the greatest hero in history or is it? There are many different versions of Beowulf, but I am only going to compare the recent animation movie and the abridged version. The latest movie version of Beowulf is very different than the book. The main difference is that Beowulf makes love to a demon and has son with her! The Beowulf in the book is portrayed as an unmovable stone this is pure of heart who only wants to have all the glory. These two Beowulf's are the same and different all at the same time which creates an interesting comparison.

Grendel is a demon of great power. In the book, he is so powerful and has such wrath that no none of the Thanes could kill him. His terror compels Geats to come across the sea to save the Thanes. After hearing Hrothgar’s men sing Grendel is so outraged the he leaves his marsh, crosses the land and kills 30 men before they even know it. The Grendel in the movie is much less intimidating, you actually feel bad for him. He came to Heroit to make Hrothgar’s men stop singing. Grendel did not come out of a heartless desire to kill, just to make them quiet. I feel like the Grendel in the book is a heartless monster while the one in the movie is just a mistake that really should be left alone.

The fight between Grendel and Beowulf is huge in both the movie and the book. The fight in the movie is very dramatic and as previously mentioned Grendel came because the men were singing. Beowulf was naked and asleep when Grendel began to attack the men. As the fight continues on, Beowulf is helped by Wiglaf, when Grendel starts to run away Beowulf pins Grendel and slams his arm in the door serving it from his twisted deformed body. The fight in the book is between just Beowulf and the monster. The fight is very destructive to (heroit) tables and chairs are smashed and thrown against the wall destroying them.

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Beowulf also watches Grendel kill a man before he starts to fight back. When Beowulf finally is able to fight Grendel one on one he rips off Grendel’s arm with his bare hand destroying the monster. In both versions Grendel runs home to die but not before talking to his mother who is angry that he attacked humans. Now in the movie versions she kills all the warriors in the hall but in the book she kills Hrothgar’s closest friend.

Beowulf was sent to kill the mother after finding out that Grendel’s mom was still in the country. The Thanes were telling Beowulf that Grendel and his mom lived in the dark marsh at the bottom of the deepest lake in the land. In the book Beowulf goes to the lake with 14 men and all of Hrothgar’s men. When Beowulf jumps in the lake it is said that he sinks for hours. When Beowulf finally reaches the bottom of the lake, Grendals mother attacks him and drags him to her hall where they fight and he kills her with a sword made by giants. No normal man could wield it but Beowulf could because he was a demon slayer. In the movie Beowulf went to the marsh with just Wiglaf and went in alone. In the movie version when Beowulf reached the bottom of the cave and was in the hall of the demon she came to him. They made love and he gave her a new son after the one he took.

The battle with the dragon takes place 50 years in the future. In the book a slave runs away from his master and stumbles across dragons gold. The slave steals a horn and brings it back the master who in return takes it to Beowulf. The dragon follows the slaves and starts to take apart the village. Beowulf decides he will save his village and take all the dragons gold. Beowulf goes to the dragons cave and when he fights the dragon his men run except for Wiglaf who helps Beowulf kill the dragon. Wiglaf becomes the King and builds a tower to remember his friend, Beowulf, the great leader and King. In the movie, the dragon is Beowulf’s demon son and he is seeking revenge on his father. His mother sent him to destroy Beowulf kingdom but Beowulf goes to kill the dragons and he ends up fighting the dragon all over his kingdom killing the dragon him self but also dying with it as he does in the movie.

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