Duality In Beowulf

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Somewhere far away a lizard sits on a tree branch in the African plains, contemplating her existence as a reptilian being. She ponders the evolution of her kind and theorizes how she would have survived as a dinosaur in Jurassic period. The lizard recounts all the teachings she learned in lizard school and how the land she now roams was once so different. She delves deeper into thoughts of how her counterpart of that time would have been wildly dissimilar, although they are technically the same. Like the lizard, the world as viewed now is so vastly different from the way it was at the dawn of time. Not only has the geography been altered, but so has the sociology. The change of values and priorities, as well as the way of life and what is viewed…show more content…
It is easy to see what is meant to be good or bad; it is not meant to provoke thoughts about what is morally sound or what caused Grendel to start attacking. The concepts of the poem were basic good and evil. Beowulf was the obvious hero and Grendel was just a natural born destroyer meant to also be destroyed. However, Beowulf and Grendel showcases the idea that there was more to the story than meets the eye. After depicting the tragedy that Grendel had to face as a child and an adult, the viewer and Beowulf sympathize with his hardships. The duality seen in the movie grows into nearly unrecognizable good and bad; it even shifts the attention away from Grendel to Hrothgar being the biggest perpetrator of pain by including that maybe Grendel kills certain people who has done him wrong. This quote from Hrothgar in the film shows the shift of Hrothgar becoming insensitive and nervous as Beowulf gets closer to figuring out Grendel’s past: “What are you saying? That he fights with a clean heart? He kills the strongest first. He shows us he can kill the strongest. Who cares if he spares the children? They'll die anyway without fathers.” Beowulf does always stay in the light as a hero, but as previously said, Beowulf needed a character arc in the film to maintain his idol status and allow viewers to continue to support him. The introduction of Grendel’s backstory and new characters, such as the witch and Grendel’s son, builds up to Beowulf needing to come to terms with his inner thoughts and decide what he thinks is right or wrong. The Beowulf in the poem does not have doubts about his duty; the Beowulf in the film experiences what it is like to make a choice. All of these factors muddle the simplistic duality of the film, leaving the viewer thinking about the plotline longer than they would have just reading the epic. The different realities faced in both eras of production for both works as well as the

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