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Oxford World’s Classics Book Club: The Book V. Movie

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The Book vs. the Movie-SPOILER ALERT

By Andrew Varhol

Have you seen the Beowulf movie yet? I went to go see if over the weekend, and not surprisingly, there were some major “edits” made to the story, most notably, the fact that Beowulf does not actually kill Grendel’s Mother and also that the dragon is the son of Beowulf and Grendel’s Mother.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think Hollywood has the right to tamper with famous works on the grounds of “artistic license?”

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Recent Comments

  1. Rebecca

    I’m quite hesitant to see the movie because I loved the book so much!

  2. Parker Posey

    Honestly, if you like the book, DON’T go see the movie. They butchered the story so much I was expecting to find out that Grendel was the love child between Grendel’s Mother and King Hrothgar… oh wait, actually, that DID occur in the movie!

  3. Matt

    I reread the poem before going to see the film and thought that I’d missed something somewhere while trudging through the Old English. I didn’t think I was that dense. In this case, it’s a bad idea to tweak the story that much — because it’s no longer “Beowulf” if the hero is sullied by being so unherolike. “Lord of the Rings” is still “Lord of the Rings” without Tom Bombadil; Beowulf having a dragon-child with Grendel’s mother? That’s not “Beowulf.”

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