How could the film version of Beowulf be interpreted differently by two different viewers?  For example, is there a difference in examining the film from a Feminist or a Christian point of view?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Viewers of the film can view it through different prisms. This becomes the basis for cinema criticism.  Cinema is a medium through which alternate understandings can be revealed.  For example, if viewing the film version of the text in a feminist mode, the dominant question becomes how women are portrayed and is this portrayal a reflection of something larger?  Are women shown to be multi- dimensional, or reduced to caricatures?  Examining how Beowulf's wife, Grendel's mother, and Beowulf's mistress would be essential in viewing the work through a feminist point of view.

In viewing the film through the prism of Christianity, one searches to find connections between the Christian notion of the good to the film. How is Beowulf a Christ figure?  Where does his sacrifice feed the larger notion of collective salvation?  How does Beowulf embrace the idea of having to give himself for the betterment of others?  These questions would animate a Christian critique of the film. 

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