Cultural Progression Through Beowulf Essay

757 words - 4 pages

Beowulf is an Old English poem. It was written sometime between 700 and 1,000 A.D. Over the years it has been edited and rewritten countless times. Some of the more recent versions do their best to stay as close to the original story as possible while others make rather large changes to make it more engaging for today’s audiences
Seamus Heaney translated a version of Beowulf in 2001. He tried hard to translate the story in a way that best represents the original. Heaney’s version is bilingual with Anglo Saxon on the left and an English translation on the right. He does make a few changes from the original story. Gor example Beowulf and his company were pagans but Heaney Christianized them ...view middle of the document...

When Beowulf arrives in the center of the cave, Grendel’s mother confronts him. In the film she is beautiful while on line 1519 of Heaney’s version she is referred to as a hag. In the film Grendel’s mother asks Beowulf to father a child with her because he took her son away from her. She tells Beowulf that if he will do this he will become a king and he will have great rule until the gold horn that was awarded to him for defeating Grendel was returned to him.
Assuming that Heaney’s version of Beowulf holds true to the original it is easy to compare it to a current version of Beowulf, like Zemeckis’. When this is done it becomes simple to examine the cultural progression of our society. There are many different aspects of different versions of Beowulf that may show change in culture but Grendel’s mother is the most obvious.
There are several possible interpretation that can be taken from how sexualized Grendel’s mother was in Zemeckis’. Simply, it shows how focused our culture has become on sex. Zemeckis likely believed that if there was that sexual aspect in the film it would make for a more interesting...

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