Re: [mythsoc] beowulf
- 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. :)
>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.
> 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.
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