Compare the movie beowulf to the epic story cuchulainn the hound of ulster - Essay Example

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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date A Discussion and Comparison between the 2007 film Beowulf and the epic tales about Cuchulain from the Fifth Century The 2007 film Beowulf is inspired by the epic tale from the middle to late Middle Ages in which a hero comes to kill a monster that is plaguing a kingdom…
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Compare the movie beowulf to the epic story cuchulainn the hound of ulster
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A Discussion and Comparison between the 2007 film Beowulf and the epic tales about Cuchulain from the Fifth Century The 2007 film Beowulf is inspired by the epic tale from the middle to late Middle Ages in which a hero comes to kill a monster that is plaguing a kingdom. In the epic tale, the hero shows little signs of weakness and is developed around the idea that is heroism is almost supernatural and given with the blessings of deities. The film is vastly different in that it acknowledges human frailty even in those with extraordinary skills. The epic stories written about Cuchulain, in contrast, discuss the fate of a man whose story begins when he is a young boy and his heroism is discussed in terms that do not assign much in the way of human weakness. The differences between the heroes of older tales and that of modern culture can be seen when comparing the Beowulf from the 2007 film to the character of Cuchulain from the fifth century stories of his deeds. The character of Beowulf from the 2007 film is heroic, but his heroism is tempered by the human frailty through which future events are written. Because he falls prey to the seduction of Grendel’s mother, he helps to create a bigger enemy that will eventually take his life. Even the monsters are given a more human dimension as they both are the sons of male protagonists in the film and are the evidence of the weaknesses of men even when their skills and deeds proclaim them to be heroes. In reading the stories of Cuchulain, it is clear that in order to feel protected a medieval character is more often skilled beyond what is natural and imbued with a spirit that has a sense of purity and chivalry. The story of love that exists between the heroes and their wives reveal something of the time and place in which they were created. Cuchulain brings to the woman that he would court a sense of honor, his intentions pure and without a taint that would divide them as time passed. Beowulf from the film has already been seduced by a monster when he takes the wife of the then dead king as his bride. They are both cursed by both the betrayal of the king in being seduced by the monster’s mother and by Beowulf himself falling prey to this weakness. Cuchulain is defined by his representation of what is best in the Irish people who wrought the tale, while Beowulf is a representation of what is common amongst men. He shows that even though he is a hero, he is not immune to those earthly weaknesses that can bring a man to his knees. While he is heroic, he is also subject to all that is human within him. The story of Cuchulain is mostly a story of hope, even in his death when he and his wife are buried together. A love that lasts until the end of life is a desire that all people have, but few find. The story of Beowulf is a tragedy in which his frailties cost him all that is important in his life, leaving him empty and destined to a death that is as symbolically tragic to his life as it is tragic in ending his life. Modern heroes are expected to have the frailties of human existence, proving to the audience that being heroic does not make one immune to those weaknesses. The stories from ancient and medieval periods, like Cuchulain, seem to desire to find a moral core from which to inspire men and women to become perfected. In the modern context we seek to understand human weakness where in medieval stories it seems to inspire rising above human weakness. The social order that is present in the story of Cuchulain is very specific, the loyalty promised to hierarchal figures formal and important. Formal structures of how authority is developed are emphasized as the story progresses so that it is understood why loyalty and behavior exists for or from the individuals in the story. In the 2007 film version of Beowulf, this structure exists because it is a period piece, but because current society does not have the same kind of understanding of feudal structures of fealty, this is not emphasized in the film. Modern society is based upon individualism which provides for a more complex structure for the character. Cuchulain, while well explored, does not have the same complexity and is primarily heroic and exhibits behaviors that fit within the codes of chivalry. The stories have qualities that are appealing to a modern audience even though one is presented through modern philosophies while the other still holds the cultural literary mores of the codes of chivalry from the Middle Ages. Cuchulain is described in such a way as to have a blind and open sense of honor, leading the reader to aspire to be as ethical and moral as his character. Beowulf, on the other hand, allows the audience member to relate to his downfalls, sending the message that being heroic is not the same as being perfect. Both characters relate to the audience for which they were written, but Cuchulain has a timeless quality. The character of Beowulf has been re-envisioned to relate in modern contexts to current cultural belief systems about heroes. The original character of Beowulf in the epic tale is similar to Cuchulain in that he represents a remote ideal. While Cuchulain is more humanized than is the original Beowulf, the state of higher morality still exists. Finding what is human in what is extroidinary takes place in differing formats, but makes both the 2007 Beowulf and Cuchulain similar as well as different. Read More
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