Beowulf and Grendel

3405 Words Feb 18th, 2008 14 Pages
Beowulf is a classical epic poem which describes Beowulf’s heroic deeds and his acts towards bringing justice and peace to the Scandinavian society by eradicating Grendel. The original manuscript (700-1000A.D.) and the modern film (2005) reveals significant differences between the characters’ traits and descriptions, an important quotation, descriptions of places, motives, a character’s presence and events that have taken place. Thus, this modern adaptation, Beowulf and Grendel, of an ancient text, Beowulf, is significantly flawed as any modern adaptation of an ancient text will be. In the film, specific characters are portrayed differently as they are in the poem. A significant example of this is from the character, Grendel. The …show more content…
For example, in the film, Hrothgar awakes in the morning and sees his soldiers slaughtered after a night of Grendel’s killings. He runs up to one of them and kneels beside them and begins to weep and screams that he should be buried here with them because he cannot do anything to stop Grendel. Here, Hrothgar is confused and does not know what to do to stop this “troll”. Even with the arrival of Beowulf and his heroic stories and confidence to defeat Grendel, Hrothgar is still pictured as a depressed and weak character. An example in the film that Hrothgar is still confused and depressed even after the arrival of Beowulf is when Hrothgar and Beowulf argue on the upper floor of the mead-hall after two unsuccessful nights of trying to defeat Grendel. Hrothgar is agitated and impatient to the fact that Beowulf has still not eliminated Grendel . This argument is an example that Hrothgar is still very worried and depressed even with the arrival of a great hero, Beowulf. These examples show that King Hrothgar in the film, is a character that has fell into a permanent depression and lacks courage, confidence, and leadership qualities. These qualities greatly contrast with the qualities of Hrothgar in the poem which symbolizes him as a great leader even through times of hardship. Beowulf is written in the form of Old English and the film is recorded in a modern perspective and many of the poem’s words and quotations are not utilized to its full extent and context. A