The Beowulf legend has endured for centuries , having been retold time and time again . Dating back to the 8th century , this epic heroic poem employs many features that have long appealed to countless storytellers authors , graphic novelists , and filmmakers . In Robert Zemeckis 's film Beowulf , modern technology allows a centuries-old story to be retold in a vivid , dynamic way . Still , in this day and age , it would be nearly impossible to translate a literal translation of the poem to the screen without making certain changes . Zemeckis 's film is no different . Some of
br these changes are obvious , while others remain curious diversions from the text . Whatever the case , each new retelling of Beowulf says as much about the time when it was created as it does about the narrative aspects that have survived throughout the centuries
Zemeckis , who has done similar experiments with computer-generated storytelling in his film The Polar Express , apparently believes that Beowulf is ripe for a contemporary facelift . While the actors and action are all animated , the technology is not the only thing that is advanced The story has been updated as well , keeping some aspects intact while completely rewriting others
The film retains the complex family lineages and historical contexts that root the poem in reality . It also keeps most of the main characters (Beowulf , King Hrothgar , Grendel , Grendel 's mother ) but explains their motivations in ways the poem did not . One of the major differences between the film and the original poem is the treatment of Grendel and Grendel 's mother when Beowulf kills Grendel , the monster is reduced to a sniveling , frightened child . It is also worth noting that Beowulf fights Grendel in the nude , which is not described in the poem . The comparisons between Grendel and the Biblical Cain are completely thrown out as well , making Grendel more of a misunderstood Frankenstein 's monster than a true monster , ugly inside and out
The fifty-year gap between Beowulf visiting Grendel 's mother 's cave is also depicted in the film , whereas it is only alluded to in the poem This allows the filmmakers to expand the poem into a feature-length film , in to fill in the gaps ' with what they imagined occurred This calls into question if Beowulf , who tells his story in the poem , is actually telling the truth . His relationship with Grendel 's mother is far different than in the story , wherein she is simply slain . Grendel 's mother is drawn as a strangely beautiful woman (Angelina Jolie ) who seduces Beowulf . This change , like the others , is played for entertainment purposes . Like Beowulf 's physique , Grendel 's mother is his equal in physical form and advertising value . The film also makes a curious addition in that Hrothgar is the father of Grendel and Beowulf is the father of the dragon , which make sense in a Hollywood sort of way , but do not add anything new or powerful back to the original poem These additions are simply to give characters more motivation...