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Date of publication: 2017-08-24 07:45

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“Beowulf” vs. “The Lord of the Rings”

Another party is held to celebrate Beowulf s victory. Hrothgar s minstrel tells another story at the feast, the story of the Frisian slaughter. An ancient Danish king had a daughter named Hildeburh he married her to a king of the Frisians. While Hnaef, Hildeburh s brother, visited his sister, the Frisians attacked the Danes, killing Hnaef and Hildeburh s son in the process. Hengest, the next leader of the Danes, desired vengeance, and in the spring, the Danes attacked the Frisians, killing their leader and taking Hildeburh back to Denmark.

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In the fiftieth year of Beowulf s reign, a monster arises to terrorize the Geats. A treasure trove was left by an ancient civilization, which guarded it jealously until only one member of the race was left. After the last person s death, a fire-breathing dragon found the treasure and guarded it for three hundred years. One day, a slave stumbled upon the treasure and stole a cup as an offering to his lord. The dragon awakened to find something missing from his treasure, and began his rampage upon the Geats.

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It 8767 s unfair, and may even seem ludicrous, to single out a trivial entertainment like 8775 Beowulf 8776 for failing to grasp the depths of an ancient masterpiece. There are many mansions in the world of art, and there 8767 s room for 8-D spectacles and digitized cleavage as well as for Mahler and Edith Wharton. But we have plenty of bad fairy tales and high-tech kitsch, and very few 8775 Beowulfs. 8776 The least we can ask is that those who venture into those dim and distant realms not wear clown suits. They spoil our view of the sea.

Robert Zemeckis 8767 new film 8775 Beowulf 8776 gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 8775 the sublime and the ridiculous. 8776 Zemeckis took the oldest and most important text of our ur-language, and turned it into a 8-D Disneyland ride so cheesy he should have called it 8775 Anglo-Saxons of the Caribbean. 8776 Of course, there 8767 s nothing new or surprising about this. Hollywood has been profaning history and literature since long before Cecil B. DeMille cast Charlton Heston as Moses. If the Bible isn 8767 t sacred, why should the oldest poem in our ancestral language be?

8775 Beowulf 8776 doesn 8767 t fail because it changes the story: It fails because it is so busy juicing up the story that it does not create a mythical universe. It has no transfiguring vision. It seizes upon an ancient tale, whose invisible roots run deep into our psyches, and uses it to construct a shiny, plastic entertainment. It takes a wild fable and turns it into a tame story. But 8775 Beowulf 8776 is the kind of story that is meaningless unless it is part of a cosmology. It is, in short, a myth.

After this story is told, Wealhtheow presents a necklace to Hrothgar while pleading with her brother-in-law Hrothulf to help her two sons if they should ever need it. Next she presents many golden treasures to Beowulf, such as necklaces, cups, and rings. Soon the feast ends, and everyone sleeps peacefully.

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In the night, Grendel s mother approaches the hall, wanting vengeance for her son. The warriors prepared for battle, leaving enough time for Grendel s mother to grab one of Hrothgar s counselors and run away. When Beowulf is summoned to the hall, he finds Hrothgar in mourning for his friend Aeschere. Hrothgar tells Beowulf where the creatures like Grendel live‹in a shadowy, fearful land within the moors.

Just then the dragon rushes up to them. Beowulf and the dragon swing at each other three times, finally landing mortal blows upon each other the last time. The dragon is beheaded, but Beowulf is bitten and has a mortal poison from the dragon flowing through his body as a result. Wiglaf bathes his lord s body as Beowulf speaks on the treasure. He says that Wiglaf should inherit it as his kinsman then he dies.

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