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Comparing Beowulf And Anglo-Saxon Culture

Decent Essays
Powerful, courageous, and fearless, stands Beowulf. As devastation enters Herot, Hrothgar has no other choice but to call for help. After enduring a long journey, Beowulf rises to the challenge to defend the land. Throughout the story he crosses many paths, and must make critical decisions. However there are two versions of this story, a movie and a poem that portray different views of Anglo-Saxon culture and today’s culture. Although the Beowulf movie and poem share many similarities, the different portrayals of character personalities, religion, and gender roles reveal the values of the societies in which they are told.
The first comparison to be made would be the different character personalities among the movie and poem. In both the poem and the movie, Beowulf is known for his strength, status, and noble birth. He is
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Christianity and Paganism were both practiced in the Anglo-Saxon society. In the movie, Unfurth mentions praying to the stone gods, reflecting paganism, and to pray to Jesus, representing Christianity. In the poem there are also many references to both religions. On page 38, line 189, he says that “fate will unwind as it must!” when conversing with Hrothgar about his upcoming battle with Grendel. Saying that was an example of paganism. Evil. Page 43, line 333 states that Grendel would now realize what it mean to “feud with Almighty God”. That reference was christian and represented their battle as good v.s. Evil. In the movie, Beowulf juggles his beliefs switching from christian to pagan. However, towards the end, in so many words he say the Christian god ruined everything. In contrast, before Beowulf dies in the poem, he gives all glory to god. Before Beowulf’s death, lying helplessly on the ground, he says “For this, this gold, these jewels, I thank Our Father in Heaven, Ruler of the Earth…” . In that statement Beowulf honors God and his
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