Cultural Values In Beowulf

1378 Words6 Pages
Cultural values can change over time. In the movie Beowulf and Grendel (Gundarsson, 2005), for instance, the idea that everything is either black or white--as presented through the Beowulf (Heaney) epic--is questioned, as one would expect from a work of the Modern Age. Such a simplistic view of everything as either good or evil can lead to prejudice and ultimately a lack of compassion by members of a civilization. In modern times, people have become more accepting of a variety of topics and attempt to not judge a person by what they may seem to be. Along with prejudice, in the modern age the simplistic duality view hasn’t affected the way people see one another. Someone can be both good and evil. In essence, the differences between the values expressed through the characters of the epic poem and those expressed through characters from the movie illustrate just how far we have come in our ability to see others…show more content…
Due to simplistic duality, Beowulf is unable to see that not everyone is entirely good or evil. He views Hrothgar as the perfect king, but is he? Although his intentions of keeping his people out of harm's way are virtuous, he still wants to kill Grendel without ever giving him a reason, sure he attacks Herot hall but the narrator doesn’t mention anything that could have invoked him to do so. Although his intentions of keeping his people out of harm's way are virtuous. Since simplistic duality means there is no in between for any subject matter, in Beowulf’s eyes, Grendel can only be evil and not a mixture of both. This ultimately leads to Grendel’s demise. His simplistic duality view of everything and everyone also inhibits him from feeling compassion for anyone, especially Grendel. Seeing in only black and white limits a person from seeing through the lenses of compassion and equality. The Beowulf in the epic does not reflect the same cultural values that we have

More about Cultural Values In Beowulf

Open Document