Ever since I was younger I remember reading the story of Beowulf in my English and thinking how much better it would be if it had a movie to it. Little did I know it did, produced in 1999 my English teacher Mr. Billings made us watch then movie then discuss the two stories.
Now when I saw this movie I could not stay awake to save my life. Then in 2007 another movie with the story of Beowulf came out and I was excited as it got great reviews. Now when I watched the movie, I noticed many similarities and differences from the poem and the movie.
So with what I can recall from the story line and the movie I will give a brief explanation of what these two stories had in common and not common. There are many similarities between the poem and movie of Beowulf. Some include the clothes, the drinking, some fight scenes, and Beowulf’s arrogance. When we first read the story you can tell the description of the older style clothes and armor and spot on throughout the movie. Another similarity is the drinking between the two stories. When we first read the book we hear about the Danes hall where they celebrate and drink till they pass out.
When we watch the movie you see many scenes of these men drinking mass amounts of alcohol. The next similarity I want to talk about is the fight scene between Grendel and Beowulf. At the beginning of the story Beowulf grasps Grendel’s’ hand until he breaks Grendel’s’ fingers which stays true to the poem. Also it is important to mention that that in the movie and poem, Beowulf is seen as a hero of humans able to overpower the Danes. This is why he arrogant throughout both stories thinking he can destroy anything in his path.
Now as we all know, most of the time when a book or poem is turned into a movie it will have many differences. I was not surprised to see the movie of Beowulf not stay true to the original poem. The first difference we come across is at the beginning of the movie as it starts off with Grendel’s death, when in the poem it starts with the Danes having a beer party in the hall. The major difference between the two is the poem actually explained a detailed story line of Beowulf’s journey. When I watched I movie I felt if left out some important pieces that i like in the poem.
Another big difference was the fight between Beowulf and the dragon. In the movie Beowulf had the cut part of his off arm off and he rips out the heart of the dragon. Now this scene is extremely different from the poem, the movie just added more dramatics to make the viewer more into the movie. Now in this writer professional opinion I thought the movie and poem had many differences but still caught the essence and story of Beowulf. This movie and poem are connected by a history of power and violence in which we can see bloody scenes and deaths.
There also two histories that lack of love, and neither of them provides any link of friendship, but rather each of them cares about their own, every character of the movie and poem takes care of themselves because they have to fight to defend themselves from the terrible things that happen. Another important aspect of the two stories are they both belong to the old English period with differences with the pronunciation of Modern English and the English spoken at the time of the poem.
So as you can see there are many major differences and similarities between both the poem and movie and Beowulf. I hope after you have read this compare and contrast essay you will have more knowledge over the poem and movie of Beowulf. The story and movie of Beowulf is one of my favorites and a great memory of why I love to read. So no matter what, if you have not yet read of seen the movie I highly encourage you to as it’s a great story, one to not be forgotten.