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A COMPARATIVE BEOWULF MOVIE AND EPIC POEM ANALYSIS The Anglo-Saxon period is a phase in history which ranges from the year550-1066. The evolution of literature can be traced back from this era whereinliterary pieces were influenced by two opposing forces - Paganism and Christianity.The Anglo- Saxon language, filled with remarkable force and vigour, originated fromthe German language. During this time frame, lots of literary works emerged; butbecause of its oral mode of transition, these works eventually "died". However,among all these pieces, only one great work survived - the epic poem entitledBeowulf. Written in Old English, the poem showed Beowulf, a hero of the Geats inScandinavia who went to help the people of Denmark led by King Hrothgar. Themead hall of the kingdom known as Heorot had been plagued by a monster calledGrendel. After Beowulf defeated the unusual being, Grendel's mother attacked thehall and was also terminated. Glorious and victorious Beowulf went back toGeatland and became the king for 50 prosperous years. He grew old, but anotherterror came - the appearance of a fierce dragon. Beowulf did not defeat themonster; and worse, the compensation for this battle was his own life.Being unable to read the full-length original composition, I had nobackground on the setting of the poem. My only basis for the setting is myimagination. As the story was narrated to us, I drew in my mind that the Heorot -or the folkhall, as it was usually called was located in a place near the mainavenue where many people could easily access it. The reason behind this inferenceis that as described, there are always many people in the mead hall just to drinkand have fun. However, contrary to what I visualized, the hall in the movie was insome place that seemed deserted. It was the only structure standing in the areaand no other buildings could be seen anywhere around it.I expected that Beowulf would look strong yet dignified. I can say that I wasright in both parts because he possessed a muscular build and looked like someonewell-respected by his colleagues. I did not think that he was the type of person whostrips off whenever battle occurred. I think it was already part of their culture, so I was wrong not to prepare myself for those. In terms of Beowulf’s appearance, I had imagined him almost very closely to the character in the film a largely-built manwith a beard.There were few changes in the characters in the film and in the epic poem.For one, in the latter part of the movie when Beowulf was already battling with theterrifying dragon, a beautiful young woman was shown. The lady was introduced as Beowulf’s new love interest. I think she was added to tell us that noth ing in thisworld is permanent, even us, human beings change. No matter how much you likeda person in the past, your feelings will surely change as time goes by; and people,especially growing ones often seek adventure to fulfil their desires in life.In the epic poem, after Beowulf defeated Grendel, the monster’s mother
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came to attack Heorot by surprise, but was killed by Beowulf in the process. Therewas
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  • Winter '08
  • Angelo Mauricio
  • shownthat Beowulf

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Christopher Reinemann
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