All values change over time; some are slower such as Cultural values that are learned behavior patterns that can continue to change thorough time. The view for cultural values today are different from than what they were centuries ago; in today’s view for a hero would be simply a normal person in the modern era who is distinguished by nobility and passion towards others that goes out of he’s way to help a person in need or an act of some bravery towards a community. In the epic “Beowulf” the Anglo-Saxon’s cultural values are different from our thoughts of a hero that are too perfect to be true for a simple man can possess. Culture values have changed and are different from ours and the 8th century from reflecting heroes and villains.
Cultural values have changed for over centuries ago from when the Anglo-Saxons walked around and told their poems about heroes and monsters to our tales of modern day heroes and villains. In the epic “Beowulf” they would boast in the victories of Beowulf and praise him for his noble deeds and slayings of monsters that plague the land. The noble Beowulf in the epic was an example of a model of a perfect hero that had the traits of bravery, strength, skill, honesty, compassion and loyalty. The heroes in our day and age are more likable now than that of the Anglo-Saxons in the past that revolve amongst their successes from their flawless traits. One example of a modern day super hero that is popular by our standards is Spiderman and Batman. The reasons that they are widely more popular than any other superhero is that they possess flaws like any other average human, Superman or any other superhero don’t have to deal with simple human flaws due to their out of this world superheroes attributes that have little human characteristics.
Spiderman and Batman would be common people in the time of Anglo-Saxon tales of heroes such as Beowulf, but Superman would fit in as a hero with the stories of Beowulf, story’s like how he killed “Nine…sea-huge monsters”(41) and he tears Grendel’s arm with his bare hands. In the movie “Beowulf and Grendel,” Beowulf represents an average hero with no god-like powers but with simple human traits like anyone else in the movie, he is much more a believable character than the Beowulf in the epic. The reasons that the epic “Beowulf” is different than the movie “Beowulf and Grendel” from each other; the epic is more entertaining than believable than the movie’s point of view towards Beowulf and Grendel.
In the Epic “Beowulf” Beowulf is a warrior from Geatland, considered an epic hero with no flaws founded on his god like body where “Beowulf ruled in Geatland” (92). He is a perfect hero in the eyes of the Anglo-Saxons boasting in his superhuman strength and attributes that conquer Grendel, Grendel’s mother and the dragon with his sheer strength alone. He did not care for the life of Grendel or try to find out why he and his mother committed the murders of the Danes but did what any hero would do and extinguish the darkness from the land without question.
The hero is the movie “Beowulf and Grendel,” Beowulf is an average warrior from the nation of Geatland and has no god like attributes like in the epic but flawed like any other human with a set of modern cultural values. Beowulf in the movie at first only cared to rid the troll of Daneland but he investigated into the reasoning why Grendel is committing the murders of the people in Danish community. He soon feels pity for Grendel and try’s to help his son from the Danes that would harm him and help him not to be a temple of hate and vengeance like his father to discontinue the vicious cycle of murders on anyone again. The Beowulf in the epic has no pity or sorrow for Grendel but just thoughts to vanquish him in his quest in Daneland and the Beowulf in the movie is more sympathy to Grendel by trying to know why he is what he is and what he stands for.
At last but not least is Grendel in the epic “Beowulf” and from the movie “Beowulf and Grendel.” Grendel in the epic is a horrible creature that is a decedent of Cain who doesn’t care much for any human morals that the Danes follow but rather kill with no motive or reason. Being an offspring from being “conceive by a pair of those monsters born of Cain,” (26) for that he is “punished for the crime of abele’s death” (26) by being an outcast from the Danish community. In the epic “Beowulf” Grendel poses a threat to the Danish people way of living by killing people without paying tribute to the wergild, a value put on a human being and if murdered or injured one Grendel must pay the equivalent amount of gold for the damages to the victim or the victim’s family. Grendel does not think once of this eye for eye nonsense, rather than to pay for his crimes he continues to murder without reason, that is the reason Hrothgar want to rid Grendel from their society.
In the movie “Beowulf and Grendel,” Grendel is a different character than the Grendel in the epic “Beowulf,” he has a reason for his doings upon the people of Dane land. From his experience as a child by seeing his father murdered in front of him by Hrothgar and the Danes, he grew a hate and vengeance towards the people of the Danish community who were responsible for his father’s death. Grendel has some modern cultural value towards the Danes by only killing the people that wronged him and fighting “with a clean heart.” (Film) The Grendel from the epic “Beowulf “is completely different by massacring the Danes without purpose but Grendel from the movie “Beowulf and Grendel” fights with a reason and that is a modern value because he isn’t some monster bent on destroying a community but a character that wants to correct everything that was wronged by him from the Danes.
Values may be very different from the 8th century to the present now because they are rapidly changing from generation to the next generation; from the age of the Anglo-Saxon to our modern time of we see a hero and a villain. The times have changes from the heroes and monsters form the past to the heroes and villains now, the values for each has changed a lot from not feeling sympathy for the weak minded monster to feeling pity for the life of the monster and from a monster mindlessly killing civilians to having reason for his crimes.
Work Cited Page
Anonymous, Beowulf. New York, NY: Penguin, 1999. Print.
Beowulf and Grendel. Sturla Gunnarsson. Truly Indie. 2005