Beowulf: the Film vs. the Text

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Throughout time, many stories have been altered to suit a particular time period. Often times a film’s adaptation is much different than text adaptations while the two can also be very similar. Over the span of hundreds of years there have been multiple interpretations of Beowulf detailing the similarities and differences between the 2007 film and the various text versions.

The portrayal of both King Hrothgar’s and Grendel’s appearance and personalities are different in the film than in the text. In the motion picture version, he was portrayed as being an unstable alcoholic. This quote from the film demonstrates this, “I want mead! Give me some mead, my queen” (Beowulf: Top Ten Quotes)! In the film King Hrothgar is also portrayed as being a disgrace to his wife, in the written version on the other hand he was portrayed as a noble and mighty king who was adored by all his loyal subjects. ‘They said that of all the kings upon the earth he was the man most gracious and fair-minded, kindest to his people and keenest to win fame” (Beowulf: Top Ten Quotes). In the movie, there was mention of an affair that King Hrothgar had. This quote from the film exposes the queen’s pain as she discovers the affair, “How could I ever lay with you, knowing you laid with her” (Beowulf: Top Ten Quotes)? In the text edition there is no evidence of any affair. In the picture Grendel had a very apathetic appearance. In the written material he was personified as an enormous monster thatis feared by  

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all of Herot. This quote demonstrates his tormenting of the people by Grendel. “There have been many great men who have come, but in the morning there was nothing left but blood on the floor, and the ventures, and the walls” (Memorable Quotes for Beowulf (2007)). In the film Grendel had the ability to speak and he was sensitive to light and sound.

The way details and events were explained was different in one of the two versions. In the film for example, King Hrothgar...
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