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Re: [mythsoc] beowulf

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  • Katie Glick
    djb said:
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 3, 2004
      djb said:

      <<Er, well, if they're going to soften the monster and try to understand its
      view, they're going against Tolkien's point, that the monsters are
      necessary for the story. I'm not sure Grendel is a "troll." >>

      I don't know, I think it's kind of an interesting "meta" take on the
      story. Like a "what if" the original author of Beowulf was recording
      real events and this was his interpretation of the events was the
      fight against a monster when maybe it was just a human being that was
      so different from them that it appeared alien.

      I imagine it's called "Beowulf & Grendel" because the movie only
      covers the events of the work dealing with Grendel and leaves out the
      rest--the dragon and stuff.

      I don't know that I'm really interested in a Beowulf movie though.
      What's interesting about the story is the different style of
      writing--the alliteration and the rhythms and the way that enhances
      the vision of the culture you are given.

      I just can't imagine a movie that will convey the story in the way
      that reading it, especially reading it with some extra knowledge about
      the history and culture that the story came from. I don't foresee the
      filmmaker being able to convey ideas like "wyrd" by reproducing
      visually what's on the page. I can't see anything but an
      adventure/battle movie coming out of this.

      It's too bad, because I love Beowulf (much to my surprise!). A college
      professor read a part of it to us in the original Anglo-Saxon and it
      was amazing to hear. He was in his 80s but I fell in love with him
      that day. The translation of Beowulf by Seamus Heaney is great. A lot
      of care and study went into it, and being a poet, the writing's pretty
      good too. :)

      -kt
    • Larry Swain
      ... Hadn t thought of it that way. But I will say that the poet leaves us in some doubt as to just what Grendel is (less doubt about his mother whose blood
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 3, 2004
        >
        > I don't know, I think it's kind of an interesting "meta" take on the
        > story. Like a "what if" the original author of Beowulf was recording
        > real events and this was his interpretation of the events was the
        > fight against a monster when maybe it was just a human being that was
        > so different from them that it appeared alien.
        >

        Hadn't thought of it that way. But I will say that the poet leaves us in some doubt as to just what Grendel is (less doubt about his mother whose blood melts swords that are the work of ancient giants)...he is called an aglaeca, monster, but so is Beowulf, he can not and does not salute the throne in the hall, hardly a concern of a monster, and of course is a descendant of Cain, human. On the other hand, light gleams from his eyes (love that line in Beo!), swords can not hurt him, and he's immensely strong (shatters even the iron holding Heorot together.) and so on. Part of that mystery of just who or what Grendel is makes the poem interesting to teach in my view.

        ljs
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